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Full text of "The proverbs of John Heywood. Being the "Proverbes" of that author printed 1546. Ed., with notes and introduction"

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"  Then  doth  he  licke  his  lippes  and  stroke  his  beard, 

That's  glewed  together  with  his  slavering  droppes 

Of  yestie  ale,  and  when  he  scarce  can  trim 

His  goutie  fingers  thus  hee'l  fillip  it, 

And  with  a  rotten  hem,  say  '  hey,  my  hearts  !' 

Merrie  go  sorrie  !  cocke  and  pye,  my  heart ! ' 

But  then  their  saving  pennie  proverbe  comes." 

Two  Angry  Women  ofAbingtont  1599. 



AUTHOR    PRINTED    1546. 













|  HE  traditions  of  old  Saxon  literature 
had  never  been  obliterated  by  rust 
or  utterly  defaced  by  invasion;  even 
after  the  toll  of  the  curfew,  there  yet 
lingered  round  the  Saxon  embers  the 
homely  folk-speech  of  Jutes  and  Angles.  But  the 
hidden  graces  of  that  English  tongue  no  English 
Aristotle  had  attempted  to  uncover.  No  earlier 
Erasmus  had  arisen  to  restore  the  gems  of  speech 
and  learning ;  no  English  Quintilian  to  knit  the 
scattered  threads  of  idiom  together.  Everywhere 
where  the  English  independence  was  subjected,  was 
the  English  language  as  effectually  despised. 


Yet  the  Norman  in  proscribing  the  ancient  literature 
could  hardly  hope  to  extirpate  the  ancient  ways  of 
thought.  Still  less  could  he  hope  to  interrupt  that 
flow  of  tears  and  laughter,  the  pathos  and  the  humour 
which  proceed  from  thought.  We  know  that  what- 
ever _was  memorable  or  captivating  in  the  old-world 
literature  was  accustomed  to  be  recited,  until  the 
sense  of  property  in  such  compositions  becoming 
gradually  lost,  that  grew  to  be  the  wit  of  many 
which  had  formerly  been  the  wisdom  of  one.  Such 
perpetual  assumption  of  authorship  would  have  been 
in  itself  sufficient  to  protect  that  verbal  literature 
from  desuetude,  even  had  not  the  professional 
farceur  worked  mightily  towards  its  preservation. 
The  shrewd  maxims  of  their  Saxon  forefathers  had 
indeed  been  given  over  to  the  use  of  the  meanest 
of  the  people's  literary  caterers,  and  as  the  common 
stock  of  glee-men  and  ale-poets,  still  continued  to 
mingle  with  mirth  and  revel  as  they  had  done  since 
the  days  of  the  Heptarchy.  But  in  the  popular 
adherence  to  the  old  charms  of.  speech,  we  think  we 
perceive  a  restless  importunity  to  bestow,  as  it  were, 
upon  a  fitting  recipient  that  priceless  heirloom  vener- 
able by  reverence  and  by  antiquity.  Antiquity  was 
dead,  but  not  without  issue.  Already  patient  monas- 
tics had  begun  to  embalm  the  decaying  Saxon  saws 


and  sentences  in  hideous  cerements  of  rhyming  Latin ; 
and  to  the  antiquary  who  to-day  unravels  the  leonine 
verses  they  have  wrought  for  us,  will  stand  revealed 
the  sprightly  sayings  of  mediaeval  England.  In  this 
process  we  are  reminded  of  nothing  so  much  as  the 
account  given  by  our  first  Arctic  navigator  of  the 
prodigious  thawing  of  words  and  consonants  that  had 
long  remained  congealed  in  the  atmosphere  during 
the  winter  nights.  In  the  wintry  night  of  the  Norman 
conquest,  the  direction  of  the  English  mind  was  one 
long  effort  to  perpetuate  and  to  transmit  the  pith 
and  saltness  of  its  bygone  literature.  An  arm  is 
stretched  out,  as  it  were,  across  three  centuries — the 
heirloom  so  often  proffered  is  as  often  refused — 
until  the  chattel  at  last  is  seized,  and  that  by  the 
hand  of  Chaucer.  It  might  be  idle  to  assert  for  an 
object  so  immaterial  so  definite  a  claim  to  antiquity, 
but  wre  are  not  unwilling  to  believe  that  the  same 
vein  of  wit  and  cunning  which  gives  vitality  to  essen- 
tially English  pages,  from  a  Chaucer  to  a  Dickens,  is 
part  and  parcel  of  the  very  mine  of  wisdom  whose 
produce  the  followers  of  Hengist  bore  away  from 
Old  Saxony. 

But  the  soil  wherein  the  Saxon  stem  was  planted 
may  still  perhaps  be  bearing  herbage  of  a  widely  dif- 
ferent undergrowth.  The  doctrines  of  the  Druids, 


preserved  only  by  verbal  narration,  did  not  altogether 
perish  at  the  destruction  of  the  Druidic  priesthood.  In 
the  maxims  of  Old  Gaul  and  in  the  cherished  sayings 
of  Wales  and  Cornwall,  some  little  of  that  traditional 
wisdom  remains.  The  proverbial  triads  of  the  Cymri 
still  perpetuate  some  facts  of  history.  That  the 
settlers  from  the  "  Summer  Land," — from  the  Tauric 
Chersonese, — descended  here  upon  these  islands  is 
recorded  in  the  Druidic  triads.  That  they  recoiled 
before  the  invasions  of  Romans  and  of  Irishmen  is 
there  also  deplored  ;  and  together  with  these  his- 
torical relics  are  mingled  an  abundant  crop  of 
Druidic  maxims,  the  condensation  of  ancient  British 

Another,  and  undeniably  the  merriest  contributor, 
has  contributed  to  the  proverbial  store-house.  Two 
centuries  previously,  we  read  that  a  Duke  of  Normandy 
had  sent  a  son  to  Bayeux  to  learn  Danish  ;  under  the 
earlier  Plantagenets,  the  young  Norman  aristocracy 
might  have  visited  England  to  learn  French.  The 
humbler  Englishman  may  have  possessed  little  apti- 
tude for  acquiring  the  Norman  speech,  but  even  the 
Gurths  and  Wambas  of  the  time  could  not  fail  to  be 
attracted  by  the  light  and  sparkle  which  glittered  on 
the  surface  of  the  smoother  tongue.  If  the  Norman 
was  the  best  sayer  of  fine  things  ;  the  Englishman 


was  incomparably  the  best  hearer  of  them.  When 
the  smack  of  novelty  had  once  passed  away,  those 
crumbs  of  merriment  which  the  Frenchman  discarded 
were  by  the  other  gratefully  retained.  In  truth  the 
palate  of  the  Norman  was  gratified  only  by  the 
crispness  and  the  unexpectedness  of  the  saying.  It 
was  the  Englishman  alone  who  was  capable  of 
luxuriating  in  its  perfect  infinity  of  application.  But 
what  wonderful  resources  were  displayed  by  the 
Norman  mind  !  The  Saxon  could  look  only  to  his 
glebe  or  his  farmyard  for  a  simile.  The  Frenchman 
had  the  run  of  the  tavern,  the  boothie,  and  the  play- 
house ;  he  brought  away  dainty  morsels  from  the 
convent-cell ;  he  imported  curious  scholar-talk  from 
Paris  and  Montpellier. 

Such,  then,  being  the  genealogy  of  our  hereditary 
folk-lore,  it  will  seem  strange  that  the  patrimony 
should  at  any  time  be  liable  to  diminish.  Neverthe- 
less it  would  appear  to  be  the  fact  that  for  upwards  of 
a  hundred  years  the  people's  wisdom  was  rigidly 
expugned  from  whatever  prints  and  writings  were 
intended  for  preservation.  The  prejudice  of  Lord 
Chesterfield  that  a  national  proverb  was  not  becoming 
to  the  conversation  of  a  man  of  breeding,  would  seem 
to  have  held  good  as  well  for  the  fifteenth  as  for  the 
eighteenth  century.  It  was  not  until  the  second  de- 


cade  of  the  next  century  that  our  vernacular  litera- 
ture again  began  to  raise  its  head.  In  what  measure 
the  publication  of  Heywood's  book  contributed  to 
the  general  restoration  it  is  quite  impossible  to  con- 
jecture, but  it  is  not  unreasonable  to  believe  that  its 
conservative  influence  was  considerable.  But  here  we 
may  make  room  for  a  fine  retrospect  as  it  has  been 
left  us  by  two  of  the  leading  scholars  of  their  day, 
Sir  Thomas  More  and  Roger  Ascham. 

"  In  our  forefather's  tyme,"  says  Ascham,  "  when 
Papistrie  as  a  standyng  poole,  covered  and  overflowed 
all  England,  fewe  bookes  were  read  in  our  tong, 
savyng  certaine  bookes  of  Chevalrie,  as  they  said,  for 
pastime  and  pleasure,  which,  as  some  say,  were  made 
in  monasteries  by  idle  monkes  or  wanton  chanons,  as 
one  for  example,  Morte  Arthure:  the  whole  pleasure 
of  which  booke  standeth  in  two  special  poyntes  ;'  in 
open  maunslaughter  and  bold  bawdrye.  In  which 
booke,  those  be  counted  the  noblest  knightes  that  do 
kill  most  men  without  any  quarrell  and  commit 
fowlest  advoulteres  by  subtlest  shiftes  ;  as  Sir  Launce- 
lote,  with  the  wife  of  King  Arthure,  his  master  ;  Syr 
Tristram,  with  the  wife  of  Kynge  Marke,  his  uncle ; 
Syr  Lamerocke  with  the  wife  of  King  Lote,  that  was 
his  owne  aunte  ...  I  know  when  God's  Bible  was 
banished  the  court,  and  Morte  Arthure  received  into 
the  Prince's  chamber." 


Prior  to  him  Sir  Thomas  More  writes  : — "  There  is 
an  use  nowe  a  daies  worse  than  amonge  the  Pagans, 
that  bookes  written  in  our  mother's  tonges,  that  be 
made  but  for  idel  men  and  women  to  read e,  have  none 
other  matter  but  of  war  and  love.  .  .  .  What  a  cus- 
tome  is  thys,  that  a  song  shall  not  be  regarded,  but  it 
bee  full  of  fylthynes,  and  this  the  lawes  oughte  to  take 
hede  of,  and  of  those  ungracious  fokes,  such  as  bee  in 
my  countrey  in  Spayne  :  Amadise,  Florisande,  Ti- 
rante,  Tristane,  and  Celestina  the  baude,  mother  of 
naughtynes.  In  Fraunce  :  Launcelote  du  Lake, 
Paris  and  Vienna,  Ponthus  and  Sidonia,  and  Mel- 
neyne.  In  Flanders  :  Flory  and  Whyte  flowre : 
Leonell  and  Canomoure,  Curias  and  Florete,  Pyramus 
and  Thisbe.  In  England :  Parthenope,  Genarides, 
Hippomadron,  Willyam  and  Meliour,  Livius  and 
Arthur,  Guye  and  Bevis,  and  many  other,  and  some 
translated  out  of  Latyne  into  vulgare  speaches,  as  the 
unsavery  conceites  of  Pogius,  and  of  Aneas  Silvius, 
Gurialus  and  Lucretia." 

Those  monastic  writings,  which,  as  Ascham  had 
heard,  were  the  work  of  "  wanton  canons  "  or  worth- 
less monks,  had  been  too  foreign  in  their  antecedents 
to  adhere  to  the  idiom  and  racy  phraseology  of  fore- 
going times.  The  volumes  which  proceeded  from  the 
presses  of  the  early  printers  were  frequently  the 


most  inhistoric  of  histories  or  the  most  wearisome 
of  romances.  But  already  in  Germany  and  in  our 
own  country,  Polydore  Vergil  and  Erasmus  had 
begun  to  garner  up  the  treasured  sayings  of  classical 
antiquity;  and  the  laureate  Skelton,  himself  a  sage 
and  a  classic,  had  preferred  to  sound  a  note  better 
attuned  to  the  public  ear  and  more  pleasing  to  the 
popular  imagination.  The  author  of  Elinour  Rum- 
myng  had  taken  up  the  lyre  of  Chaucer,  not  indeed  as 
Chaucer,  but  as  Lydgate  had  dropped  it.  Then  came 
John  Heywood.  A  protege  of  Sir  Thomas  More, 
and  a  familiar  intimate  of  Skelton,  Heywood  might 
well  impart  to  the  chancellor,  at  his  house  at  Chelsea, 
selections  from  the  fund  of-  grotesque  ribaldry  which 
he  had  previously  heard,  say,  at  the  notorious  Three 
Cranes.  Skelton  had  set  the  fashion  for  coarse 
rhymes ;  Heywood  made  coarse  rhymes  fashionable. 
There  is  little  doubt  that,  after  the  appearance  of 
/  Hey  wood's  book  in  1546,  a  new  idea  or  influence  was 
set  working  in  English  literature.  It  was  not,  indeed, 
that  the  work  possessed  intrinsic  merit,  or  that  its 
appearance  was  attended  with  circumstances  of  public 
interest.  Rather  was  it  that  the  author  was  by  means 
of  this  work  reminding  the  public  of  a  property 
which  the  owners  were  inadvertently  losing.  That 
same  meaning  which  the  romancers  before  him  had 


attempted  to  explain  with  an  allegory,  Hey  wood  could 
promptly  convey  in  a  proverb.  The  romancers  were 
rejected;  Heywood's  volume  was  hailed  with  acclaim. 
It  became  the  most  popular  of  all  popular  books. 
Ten  times  it  was  sent  to  press  during  the  sixteenth 
century.  Immediately  on  its  appearance  it  gave  a 
fillip  to  the  nation's  appetite  for  literary  enjoyment ; 
poets,  play-writers,  and  statesmen  made  capital  of 
its  mine  of  proverbs.  The  Elizabethan  dramatists 
are  brimming  with  them.  One  orator  delivered  a 
speech  in  the  House  of  Commons  in  which  a  proverb 
formed  the  substance  of  every  sentence.  Proverbs 
were  adopted  everywhere  as  devices  for  tapestry,  as 
mottoes  for  knives,  as  inscriptions  for  rings  and  keep- 
sakes. Shakespeare  speaks  of  a  moderate  poetaster 
as  one 

whose  poesy  was 

For  all  the  world  like  cutler's  poetry 
Upon  a  knife,  Love  me  and  leave  me  not. 

It  cannot  be  pretended  that  the  volume  before  us 
has  other  claims  to  respect  besides  the  extraneous 
one  of  its  being  the  first  assemblage  of  our  colloquial 
sayings.  The  due  transmission  of  proverbs,  and  even 
catch-words,  unmutilated  from  age  to  age,  has  excited 
so  much  enquiry  of  late  in  the  pages  of  our  periodicals, 
that  the  editor  believes  that  this  attempt  at  restoring 

xvi  IN  TROD  UC  TIO  N. 

an  ancient  literary  landmark  will  meet  with  approba- 
tion from  other  gleaners  in  the  same  field  of  anti- 
quarianism.      He  also   believes,  with  respect  to  the 
accompanying  glosses,  that  so  considerable  a  collec- 
tion  of   proverbial   antiques   has   not   hitherto   been 
brought  together.      His  reason  for  setting  aside  the 
accumulations  of  trite  sayings  in  classical  or  oriental 
literature  is  that  our  own  in  early  English  possess  a 
relationship  far  less  equivocal.    Little  could  be  gained 
by  illustrating  English  idiom  from  the  mots  dores  of 
a  Solon  or  a  Pythagoras  ;  less,  by  illustrating  it  from 
a   Zoroaster  or   a   Confucius.      Though   it    may   be 
gratifying  to  discover  that  the  simile  of  "  no  stone 
unturned "   proceeds   from    a    reply   of    the   Delphic 
oracle,    or  that   the   homely   figure   of  "  a   pinching 
shoe"   takes   rise   from    a   passage   in    the    Lives   of 
Plutarch,  yet  it  can  be   no  less  interesting   to  learn 
that  Saint  Jerome  forebore  to  look   a  gift-horse   in 
the  mouth,  or  that  the  proverbial  distich  chanted  by 
the  insurgents  in  Wat  Tyler's   rebellion  is  found  in 
a  Teutonic  dress  in  the  German  proverbs  of  Agricola. 
To  any  reader  of  the  dramatists,  who  is  at  the  same 
time  acquainted  with  Heywood's  collection,  a  curious 
incident  of  authorship  will   be   apparent.     Such,  at 
least,  we  take  to  be  that  similarity  between  certain 
passages  in   Heywood's   book    and   passages    in  the 


writings  of  the  more  prominent  authors  of  a  later 
day.  Both  Heywood's  work  and  the  extent  of  its 
popularity  were  well  known  to  Shakespeare,  but  it  is 
not  seen  that  the  great  master  availed  himself  of  the 
literary  leanings  of  his  audience  in  order  to  secure 
the  applause  which  almost  invariably  follows  on  the 
recognition  of  the  adopted  sentences  of  a  popular 
author.  Not  so  Ben  Jonson.  In  the  play  of  East- 
ward  Hoe,  which  that  author  composed  in  conjunc- 
tion with  Marston  and  Chapman,  the  dramatist  seems 
purposely  to  have  opened  a  page  of  Heywood  that 
he  might  point  the  dialogue  of  his  smartest  charac- 
ters. The  same  tacit  understanding  existing  between 
audience  and  actors  as  would  seem  to  exist  at  the 
present  day,  we  can  imagine  the  hum  of  approbation 
which  followed  the  delivery  of  each  well-worn  saying. 
A  quotation  from  one  of  the  more  farcical  parts  of 
Eastward  Hoe  is  almost  parallel  to  Heywood's 
Proverbs : — 

Touchstone.  I  heare  your  knight  errant  is  traveld  on  strange 
adventures.  Surely,  in  my  mind,  your  ladiship  hath  "fisht  faire, 
and  caught  afrogge?  as  the  saying  is. 


Girtnide.  Come  away,  I  say,  u hunger  drops  out  at  his  nose" 
Goulding.  O,  madam,  "Faire  words  never  hurt  the  tongue." 
Girtrude.  How  say  you  that  ?    You  come  out  with  your  golde 
ends  now ! 



Mistress  T.  Stay,  lady,  daughter ;  good  husband  ! 

Touchstone.  Wife,  no  man  loves  his  fetters •,  be  they  made  of 
gold.  I  list  not  ha'  my  head  fastned  under  my  child's  girdle ; 
as  shee  has  brew'd,  so  let  her  drinke,  a  God's  name.  She  went 
witlesse  to  wedding,  now  she  may  goe  wisely  a  begging.  It  is 
but  hony-moone  yet  with  her  ladiship :  she  has  coach  horses, 
apparel,  jewels  yet  left :  she  needs  care  for  no  friends,  nor  take 
knowledge  of  father,  mother,  brother,  sister,  or  any  body.  When 
those  are  pawn'd  or  spent,  perhaps  we  shall  returne  into  the  liste 
of  her  acquaintance. 

Girtrude.  I  scorne  it,  i'  faith.     Come,  Sinne.     \Exit  Girtrude. 

Mistress  T.  O,  madam,  why  doe  you  provoke  your  father 
thus  ? 

Touchstone.  Nay,  nay,  eene  let  pride  go  afore:  shame  tuil 
follow  after,  I  warrant  you.  Come,  why  doest  thou  weepe  now? 
Thou  art  not  the  first  good  cow  hast  had  an  il  calfe,  I  trust. 

The  same  observation  would  apply  to  portions  of 
Henry  Porter's  best-known  comedy,  The  Two  Angry 
Women  of  Abington,  which,  obscure  as  it  yet  is,  is 
mentioned  by  Charles  Lamb  as  being  no  whit  inferior 
to  the  earliest  performances  of  Shakespeare.  It  is  full 
of  business,  humour,  and  merry  malice. 

It  is  now  time  to  pass  from  the  consideration  of 
the  indirect  influence  of  Heywood's  work,  to  detail 
some  particulars  of  his  career,  and  notably  in  his 
capacity  of  dramatic  author. 

"  Was  not  Heywood  a  satirist?"  asks  one  of  the 


characters  in  Mr.  Payne  Collier's  skilful  work,    The 
Poetical  Decameron. 

"  I  presume  you  mean  the  elder — John  Heywood," 
rejoins  another. 

"  I  mean  that  Heywood  who  is  the  author  of  one 
of  the  most  witty  and  entertaining  pieces  in  Dodsley's 

Turning  to  the  theatrical  repository  here  mentioned, 
we  discover  that  the  performance  which  has  so  de- 
servedly procured   Mr.   Collier's   eulogy  is   the  one 
bearing  the  eccentric  title  of  Four  P's.    The  further 
title — one  is  involuntarily  reminded  by  it  of  the  tra- 
ditional three  R's — proceeds  to  explain  that  the  piece 
is  a  facetious  dialogue  held   between  a  Pardoner,  a 
Palmer,  a  Pothicary,  and  a  Pedler.     It  is  worthy  of 
note  that  though  written  by  one  of  the  most  rigid  and 
bigoted  of  Catholics  and  at  a  time  when  the  tumult 
f  opinions   was   at    its   height,   the    satire    of    this 
lay  is  especially  directed  against  the  abuses  of  the 
Lomish  communion.     As  a  Catholic  of  the  sixteenth 
entury  Heywood  went  further  than  a  Protestant  of 
next,  in  exposing  and  bringing  to  just  ridicule  the 
nemies  alike  of  the  old  faith  and  the  new.     The  re- 
gious  charlatan  who  could  open  the  gates  of  heaven 
'ith  the  rich  man's  purse-strings ;  the  sanctimonious 
uack  who  purchased  ease  and  affluence  by  a  sys- 


tematic  trifling  with  the  souls  of  his  community; 
these  and  other  types  of  the  monastic  character, 
unhappily  but  too  abundant  in  his  day,  found  little 
mercy  from  the  unscrupulous  yet  unvindictive  satire 
of  Hey  wood. 

A  speech  of  the  Palmer  opens  the  comedy : — 

At  Hierusalem  have  I  bene, 

Before  Chryste's  blessed  sepulture  ; 
The  mount  of  Calvary  have  I  sene, 

A  holy  place  ye  may  be  sure. 


Then  at  Rhodes  also  I  was, 

And  round  about  to  Armas, 

At  Saynt  Toncomber  and  Saynt  Tronion, 

At  Saynt  Botolph  and  Saynt  Anne  of  Buckston. 

On  the  hylles  of  Armeny,  where  I  saw  Noe's  arke, 

With  holy  Job  and  Saynt  George  in  South warke, 

And  at  the  good  rood  of  Dagnam. 

He  is  interrupted  by  the  Pardoner  assuring  him 
that  such  remote  pilgrimages  are  altogether  un- 
necessary for  securing  salvation.  He  might  have 
obtained  pardon  and  stayed  at  home. 

Geve  me  but  a  peny  or  two  pens, 

And  as  sone  as  the  soule  depart eth  hens, 

In  halfe  an  houre,  or  three  quarters  at  the  moste, 

The  soule  is  in  heaven  with  the  Holy  Ghost. 

The  Poticary  and  the  Pedler  then  join  the  com- 
pany; each  begins  to  assert  for  himself  a  superior  claim 

INTR  OD  UC  TION,  xxi 

to  the  gratitude  of  his  fellows.  "  Whose  agency  is 
more  potent  in  love  ?"  urges  the  Pedler.  "  That  is  of 
first  importance  in  the  affairs  of  this  world,"  so  admits 
the  Poticary,  "  but  who  is  it  but  myself  who  hastens 
so  many  people  to  the  next?"  At  last  tired  of  dis- 
puting their  pre-eminence,  it  is  agreed  that  the  dis- 
putants shall  compete  for  the  mastery  by  telling  fibs  ; 
the  greatest  liar  to  be  thenceforth  recognized  as  chief 
and  primus  of  this  exemplary  four.  The  task,  says 
the  Pedler,  cannot  be  a  heavy  one,  as  they  are  all 
accustomed  to  it  ;  while  he,  possessing  no  little  skill 
in  the  art  of  lying,  is  constituted  umpire.  It  having 
Deen  decided  to  make  the  trial  in  succession,  the 
Pardoner  takes  the  lead  by  relating  the  virtues  of 
lis  relics.  His  inventions  concerning  the  jaw-bone 
All  Hallows  and  the  slippers  of  the  Seven  Sleepers 
are  acknowledged  as  belonging  merely  to  the  class  of 
respectable  mediocrity.  But  no  sooner  is  the  Poticary 
called  on  for  his  lie,  than  he  declares  the  Palmer  to 
an  honest  man.  This  was  indeed  a  falsehood  of 
the  first  magnitude,  but  it  is  confessed  by  the  umpire 
that  he  is  still  unable  to  determine  the  quantity  of 
credit  exactly  due  to  each.  To  meet  the  difficulty  it 
is  proposed  that  each  shall  recount  some  marvellous 
adventure,  not  apocryphal  at  all,  but  falling  within 
the  strict  letter  of  fact 


The  Poticary  who  leads  off  with  a  story  of  a  won- 
derful cure  is  soon  distanced  by  the  recital  of  the 
Pardoner.  This  worthy  seriously  details  the  circum- 
stances of  a  visit  to  hell  which  he  had  undertaken  tc 
regain  the  soul  of  a  lamented  lady  intimate : — 

A  frende  of  myne,  and  lykewyse  I 
To  her  agayne  was  as  frendly. 

He  had  first,  he  said,  enquired  at  the  gates  of  purgatory 
whether  a  person  answering  to  the  description  which 
he  gave  of  her  had  recently  been  admitted  ;  but  when 
informed  to  the  contrary : — 

Alas  !  thought  I,  she  is  in  hell ; 

For  with  her  lyfe  I  was  so  acqueynted 

That  sure  I  thought  she  was  not  saynted. 

He  had  accordingly  hastened  to  that  locality,  where 
recognizing  an  old  acquaintance  in  the  porter  at  the 
gate,  he  procures  a  free  passport  to  traverse  the  sa- 
tanic  realm.  Walking  arm-in-arm  with  his  old 
associate,  the  Pardoner  approaches  a  spot  where  the 
denizens  of  hell  are  celebrating  an  infernal  orgy 
There  he  is  cordially  received  by  the  genius  of  the 
place,  Lucifer  himself,  and  the  Pardoner  presently 
advances  his  suit.  He  will  do  the  devil  a  good  turn 
on  earth,  so  he  bargains,  if  in  consideration  for  these 
promised  services,  his  Majesty  will  release  a  certain 

INTR  OD  UC  TION.  xxiii 

soul  from  his  dominions.  When  told  that  it  is  a 
female  soul,  nothing  can  exceed  the  delight  of  Lucifer. 
No  subjects,  he  declares,  occasion  more  disquiet  to 
the  reign  of  Satafi  than  the  women  souls  whom  weary 
earth  consigns  him.  He  requests,  even  implores,  that 
the  Pardoner  will  send  none  other  of  that  sex  to  dis- 
turb his  subjects'  harmony,  a  wish  that  the  other 
readily  promises  to  respect.  Accordingly  the  woman 
is  made  over  to  her  deliverer,  who  escorts  her  to 
Newmarket  Heath,  and  there  leaves  her  to  her  own 

It  had  appeared  to  the  Pardoner  that  this  piece  of 
mendacity  was  far  too  brazen  for  the  remaining 
competitors  to  surpass,  when  the  Palmer,  commenting 
on  the  other's  recital,  lets  fall  the  stupid  observation 
that  in  a  long  lifetime  he  had  never  seen  a  woman 
out  of  patience.  In  later  times  it  would  be  regarded 
as  singularly  the  reverse  of  a  fitting  climax  that  a 
drama  so  skilfully  constructed  should  terminate  with 
so  feeble  a  situation  ;  but,  in  the  days  of  John  Hey- 
wood,  stage  exigencies  were  abundantly  satisfied  by 
such  a  finale  as  we  see  contrived  by  the  irony  of  the 
blundering  Palmer. 

The  interlude  of  Heywood's  which  contains  in- 
ternal proof  of  having  been  first  written  is  the  Mery 
Playe  betwene  the  Pardoner  and  the  Frere,  the  Ciirate 


and  neybour  Pratte.  The  fact  of  Leo  X.  being 
mentioned  in  it  as  then  living  fixes  the  date  of  its 
production  prior  to  1521.  Like  the  interlude  we 
have  just  noticed,  it  is  conceived  in  a  tone  of  deep 
hostility  to  the  established  clergy.  Like  that  again 
its  intention  is  to  expose  the  mischievous  impostures 
of  the  mendicant  orders.  A  friar  and  a  professional 
pardon-monger  have  taken  possession  of  a  church, 
the  one  to  exhort  the  congregation  to  benevolence, 
the  other  to  find  purchasers  for  his  saintly  relics. 
The  friar  is  already  enlarging  on  the  poverty  of  his 
order  when  the  pardoner  interrupts  the  harangue  by 
proclaiming  the  pretended  virtues  of  his  receipts  and 
nostrums.1  The  great  toe  of  the  Trinity  and  the 
articles  of  wearing  apparel  once  belonging  to  the 
Virgin  are  amongst  the  most  startling  of  the  Par- 
doner's relics,  a  complete  catalogue  of  which  is  inter- 
rupted by  the  obstinate  determination  of  the  mendicant 
to  obtain  a  hearing.  The  friar  taunts  his  adversary 
with  the  publication  of  "  a  ragman's  roll  of  lies,"  as 
he  emphatically  expresses  it.  The  mendicant  replies 
with  blows,  and  the  two  are  coming  to  close  combat 

1  Mr.  F.  J.  Furnivall  writing  in  Notes  and  Queries,  (4th  S.  IX. 
177)  draws  attention  to  the  fact  that  Hey  wood  has  incorporated 
into  the  Pardoner's  speech  lines  49-100  of  CHAUCER'S  Pardoner's 


when  the  curate,  who  has  been  informed  of  the  dis- 
turbance, rushes  into  church  thinking  to  lay  violent 
hands  on  the  monastic.  "  Let  me  alone  with  this 
gentleman/'  cries  his  reverence,  at  the  same  time 
enjoining  Master  Pratte,  who  at  this  juncture  appears 
on  the  scene,  to  deal  severely  with  the  layman.  It 
is  disappointing  to  find  in  the  conclusion  that  the 
two  charlatans,  better  accustomed  to  the  practice  of 
pugilism,  fare  best  in  the  encounter  and  are  suffered 
to  march  off  on  their  several  ways. 

Two  pieces  we  have  next  to  notice  would  purport, 
from  their  structural  simplicity,  to  be  a  product  of  an 
almost  aboriginal  period  of  the  drama.  In  neither  is 
there  promise  of  an  acted  story,  nor  as  they  proceed 
is  there  any  indication  of  plot  or  circumstance.  Alike 
devoid  of  "  business,"  the  simplest  stage  appliances 
are  the  only  requisites  for  their  production.  Con- 
sidered as  spectacles,  the  Play  of  the  Wether  and 
the  Play  of  Love  seem  equally  unlikely  to  afford 
attraction,  but  when  we  consider  that  these  popular 
performances  amounted  to  nothing  but  argumentative 
and  interminable  conversations,  we  must  suppose 
such  audiences  as  they  did  actually  command  to 
have  had  a  keener  appreciation  for  logical  subtilty 
than  any  that  have  since  been  collected  within  the 
walls  of  a  play-house. 


The  Play  of  the  Wether  gives  us  a  curious  table  of 

dramatis  persona,  which,  as  it  is  not  a  lengthy  one, 
may  be  here  set  out. 

Jupiter,  a  god. 

Merry  Reporte,  the  vyce. 

The  gentylman. 

The  marchaunt. 

The  ranger. 

The  water  myller. 

The  wynde  myller. 

The  gentylwoman. 

The  launder. 

A  boy  the  lest  that  can  play. 

The  scene  opens  by  Jupiter  appearing  and  pro- 
ceeding, after  the  manner  of  a  chorus,  to  explain  the 
argument  of  the  drama.  So  great  vexation,  he  de- 
clares, had  been  occasioned  to  mortals  through  the 
perverse  disposition  of  the  elements  that  he  had 
summoned  the  rulers  of  the  firmament  to  his  judg- 
ment seat  to  answer  the  charges  that  had  previously 
been  preferred  against  them.  Having  appeared  at 
the  time  appointed,  each  had  complained  that  his 
individual  endeavours  to  promote  the  happiness  of 
man  were  constantly  thwarted  by  the  action  of  his 
companions  in  the  celestial  government.  Saturn 
had  charged  Phoebus  with  melting  the  morning 
frost  and  rendering  the  labour  of  the  night  useless. 
Phoebus  had  exclaimed  against  Phoebe,  whose 

INTRO D  UC  TION.  xxvii 

showers,  he  complained,  were  alike  prejudicial  to 
the  workings  both  of  frost  and  heat.  Instead  of  re- 
senting this  imputation,  Phoebe  made  common  cause 
with  the  other  complainants,  and  together  they  fell 
foul  of  Eolus.  He,  they  said, — 

When  he  is  dysposed  his  blastes  to  blow 
Suffereth  neyther  sone  shyne,  rayne  nor  snow. 

Jupiter,  then,  had  been  invited  to  arrange  the  dif- 
ferences, and  has  descended  to  earth  that  he  might 
consider  the  petitions  of  such  among  the  mortals 
as  were  aggrieved  by  the  elemental  caprices.  Merry 
Reporte,  a  certain  mercurial  intelligence,  acts  as 
medium  between  Jupiter  and  the  suppliants,  and  it  is 
with  the  spoken  commentary  of  this  personage  that 
the  play  now  concerns  itself.  The  first  suitor  is  a 
"  gentylman "  desiring  clear  weather  without  cloud 

or  mist, 

nor  no  wynde  to  blow 
For  hurt  in  hys  huntynge. 

The  merchant  prayed  for  a  "mesurable  wynde."  As 
for  the  ranger,  he  was  so  blinded  by  private  interest 
as  plainly  to  say — 

there  bloweth  no  wynde  at  al ; 
while  the  water-miller  exclaimed  that — 

the  wynde  was  so  stout 
The  rayne  could  not  fall ; 

xxviii  INTR  OD  UCTION. 

a  statement  politely  contradicted  by  the  wind-miller, 

Who  sayd  for  the  rayne  he  could  no  wynde  wyn  ; 
The  water  he  wysht  to  be  banysht  all. 

But  an  applicant  of  a  different  complexion  was  the 
"goodly  dame,"  who  desired  neither  rain  nor  sunshine, 

But  fayre  close  wether  her  beautye  to  save  ; 
And   the   last   to   appeal  were   the  schoolboy,   who 
wished  for  nothing  better  than  frost  or  snowballing, 
and  the  poor  woman 

that  lyveth  by  laundry, 
Who  must  have  wether  hot 
And  clere  her  clothys  to  dry. 

In  the  end,  Jupiter  promises  to  institute  such  a  dis- 
posal of  the  elements  that  all  trades  in  due  season 
may  prosper  without  injury  one  to  another. 

It  may  here  be  observed  that  all  the  "  business  "  of 
this  comedy  is  supposed  to  be  transpiring  away  from 
the  stage,  or  else  to  have  already  taken  place.  It  is 
in  effect  nothing  but  a  long  recitation,  the  variety  of 
characters  being  useful  only  as  supplying  the  appro- 
priate reliefs  in  speaking  it.  At  the  close,  a  mutual 
understanding  is  come  to  and  all  parties  are  satisfied 
and  depart 

Nearly  three  hundred  years  of  neglect  must  have 
passed  over  all  knowledge  of  the  Play  of  Love,  when 
a  unique  copy  was  accidentally  discovered  by  the 

IN  TROD  UC  TION.  xxix 

librarian  at  the  Bodleian  Library.  Here  again  are 
found  the  same  mythical  and  abstract  personages, 
the  same  creations  who  monopolized  the  drama  in  its 
earlier  stages,  and  who  were  for  ever  superseded 
when  interlude  was  displaced  by  comedy. 

A  Lover  not  Beloved  and  the  object  of  his  regard,  a 
Woman  Beloved  not  Loving,  discourse  upon  the  rela- 
tive painfulness  of  their  respective  states  of  feeling. 
The  lady  with  more  charity,  and  with  nearly  as  little 
reason  as  her  pursuer,  insists  that  the  more  pain  falls 
to  the  lot  of  those  who  are  the  objects  of  a  passion 
which  they  cannot  reciprocate.  The  audience  may 
have  felt  a  desire  to  know  more  of  this  philosophic 
maiden,  but  could  not  fail  to  agree  with  the  Lover 
not  Beloved  when  he  replies — 

I  say  and  will  verefy, 
Of  all  pains  the  most  incomparable  pain, 
Is  to  be  a  lover  not  loved  again. 

The  conflict  of  opinions  is  now  heightened  by  the 
appearance  of  the  Lover  Loved,  an  anxious  though 
self-satisfied  character,  and  Neither  Loved  nor  Loving, 
a  personage  who  bears  the  burden  of  the  comic  portion 
of  the  play.  The  former,  having  thus  avowed  complete 
satisfaction  with  his  condition, — 

love  is  my  feader, 

Love  is  my  lord,  and  love  is  my  leader  ! 


meets  with  direct  contradiction  from  the  perfectly 
absolute  Neither  Loved  nor  Loving,  who  intimates 
that  the  other  does  not  know  his  own  mind,  and  that 
his  alone  is  the  most  peaceful  situation.  The  denoue- 
ment shows  all  parties  agreeing  to  regard  one  another 
on  an  equality  of  happiness  and  misfortune.  The  few 
words  spoken  to  the  audience  at  the  end  of  the  drama 
bespeak  a  high  standard  of  stage  morality  in  the  first 
years  of  the  sixteenth  century: — 

Since  such  contention  may  hardly  accord 

In  such  kind  of  love  as  here  hath  been  meant, 

Let  us  seek  the  Love  of  that  loving  Lord, 
Who  to  suffer  passion  for  love  was  content. 

A  Mery  Play  between  Johan  Johan,  the  Husbande ; 
Tyb,  his  Wyfe ;  and  Syr  jfhon,  the  Freest,  is  certainly 
the  most  farcical  and  not  the  least  amusing  of  Hey- 
wood's  pieces.  It  is  also  one  of  the  coarsest ;  but  its 
coarseness  is  of  a  kind  that  would  be  found  enter- 
taining in  no  age  but  the  age  which  produced  it,  and 
even  then  is  too  imprudent  to  be  morally  hurtful  or 
offensive.  This  meagre  play,  in  spite  of  its  obscenity, 
or  perhaps  by  reason  of  its  obscenity,  yet  remains  a 
relic  of  an  order  of  things  that  have  long  passed 
away,  and  brings  down  to  us  a  Savour  of  ideas  that 
have  long  since  perished.  The  rural  clergyman,  whose 
visits  were  as  dreaded  at  the  homestead  as  a  descent 


by  caterans  on  the  granary  or  poultry  yard,  had 
actually  a  beau-ideal  in  sixteenth  century  life.  The 
type  of  character  was  so  fully  recognized,  and  was 
held  to  furnish  such  excellent  staple  for  buffoonery, 
that  right  reverend  prelates  did  not  feel  it  derogatory 
from  their  calling  to  witness  a  popular  expose  of  the 
peccadilloes  of  their  own  clergy.  Of  the  piece  before 
us  it  is  sufficient  to  say  that  the  village  priest  does 
not  fail  to  answer  expectation  both  in  his  conversation 
and  behaviour,  neither  can  we  perceive  him  to  be 
the  least  distinguishable  from  the  hero  of  the  story. 

The  last  of  Heywood's  pieces,  one  which  yet 
remains  a  manuscript  in  the  Harleian  Library,  is  a 
dialogue  between  three  persons,  named  respectively 
John,  James,  and  Jerome.  The  title  which  has  more 
lately  been  bestowed  on  this  performance  is  A  Dialogue 
on  Wit  and  Folly ;  John  arguing  the  superiority  of  the 
life  of  a  wise  man,  and  James  maintaining  the  greater 
comfort  of  the  witless  one.  The  latter  defends  the 
strong  position  that  pain  of  body  is  less  grievous  than 
that  of  mind.  But,  replies  John, — 

The  student's  pain  is  oft  pleasantly  mixt 
In  feeling  what  fruit  by  his  study  is  fixt. 

To  which  James,  with  an  ability  which  proclaims  him 
in  no  way  allied  to  the  "witless"  whose  cause  he 
argues,  makes  reply, — 

xxxii  I  NT  ROD  UCTION. 

The  laborers  labour  quiteth  that  at  a  whip 
In  feeling  the  fruit  of  his  workmanship. 
As  much  delight  carters  in  carts  neat  trimmed 
As  do  students  in  books  with  gold  neat  limned. 

Adding,  with  no  little  feeling, — 

Less  is  the  peril  and  less  is  the  pain 

The  knocking  of  knuckles  which  fingers  doth  strain, 

Than  digging  in  the  heart,  or  drying  of  the  brain. 

Before  dismissing  the  plays  of  John  Heywood,  it  is 
incumbent  on  us  to  notice  this  author's  position  with 
regard  to  the  history  of  the  English  stage.  He  is, 
unless  we  greatly  err,  the  originator,  nay,  the  inventor 
^of  our  native  drama.  That  distinction,  once  accorded 
to  the  author  of  Gammer  Gurton  in  1560,  to  the 
author  of  Roister  Bolster y  to  the  author  of  Misogenus, 
may  safely  be  transferred  from  their  unconscious 
shoulders  to  those  of  the  author  of  the  Four  P'st 
about  the  year  1530.  It  is  true  that  stage  perform- 
ances, with  play-book  and  words,  with  scaffolding 
and  apparatus,  had  existed  long  before  the  time  of 
Heywood.  They  had  existed,  as  they  will  always 
continue  to  exist,  wherever  men  are  obedient  to  the 
instinct  of  personation.  They  existed  in  Troy,  in 
Thebes,  in  Baalbec,  if,  as  we  may  believe,  that  in 
those  cities  men  took  delight  in  identifying  them- 
selves with  imaginary  characters  more  or  less  debased 

IN  TROD  UC  TION.  xxxiii 

or   exalted.      But   as    yet   in   England,   no   play   or 
comedy,  that  is,  no  spoken  story,  had  ever  been  con- 
ceived by  dramatist,  or  entered  into  the  heart  of  man 
to  perform.     Selections  from  the  Old  and  New  Testa- 
ments ;  from  the  Pentateuch,  and  from  the  Apocalypse, 
had  for  generations  been  represented,  and  had  quite 
succeeded  in  satisfying  the  popular   notion  of  what 
was  demanded  in  a  stage  play.     But  these  Biblical 
performances  must  have  differed  from  the  product  of 
the  later  drama  in  the  same  way  that  a  street  recita- 
tion by  an  old  Greek  rhapsodist  must  have  differed 
from  a  performance  of  the  Electra.     People  in  this 
country  were  so  satisfied  with  a  mimic  representation 
of  the  deluge,  or  the  miracle  of  the  loaves  and  fishes, 
that  they  overlooked  the  fact  that  additional  amuse- 
ment might  be  gained  by  closely  following  the  drama 
of  antiquity.     The  models  were  actually  in  their  pos- 
session, and  yet  the  owners  did  not  bethink  them- 
selves to  copy.    But  when  we  recollect  the  half-serious 
moral  that  is  banteringly  conveyed  in  Charles  Lamb's 
most  charming  essay ;  when  we  remember  the  interval 
that  elapsed  in  the  progress  of  printing  between  the 
period  of  block-books  and  the  obvious  advance  to 
type  that  was  movable,  we  cannot  be  surprised  at  the 
gap  subsisting  between  the  two  ages  of  the  drama,  or 
wonder  at  the  two  thousand  years  that  had  almost 

xxxiv  INTR  OD  UCTION. 

elapsed    before   the   Mencechmi  of  Plautus   had   de- 
veloped into  the  Comedy  of  Errors. 

The  line  of  demarcation  between  the  two  periods  of 
stage  history  must  of  necessity  be  an  arbitrary  one. 
We  prefer  to  place  it  at  the  point  where  the  Bible 
disappears  from  the  hustings  and  secular  subjects  are 
for   the  first  time  introduced.      Following   our   own 
rule,  we  shall  have  no  hesitation  in  claiming  the  play 
of  the  Pardoner  and  the  Frere  as  our  earliest  comedy, 
and  distinguishing  Heywood  as  our  earliest  dramatic 
author.     Though  forestalled  in  this  respect  in  other 
countries  of  Europe,  Heywood  may  still  be  said  to 
have  beaten  his   forerunners   on   the  score   of  origi- 
nality.    Heywood's  plays  are  Gothic  in  their  extrac- 
tion;  those  of  his  contemporaries  on  the  continent 
draw  vitality  from  Rome  and   Athens.     In    France, 
so   soon  as  the    Confrerie   de  la  Passion  had  found 
strength  to  throw  off  its  spiritual  encumbrances,  the 
stage  was  burdened  with  Medeas  and  Agamemnons. 
In  Germany  as  yet  no  drama  had  arisen,  but  in  Italy 
both  Trissino  and  Rucellai  drew  boldly  on  the  come- 
dies of  Terence.     Heywood,  on  the  contrary,  looked 
only  for  his  characters  to  the  heroes  of  the  fields  and 
hedge-rows.      They    accordingly   are    most   usually 
either  tramps,  or  parsons,  or  cozeners;  but  his  success 
depending   only   upon   the  plaudits    of  citizen    and 

INTR  OD  UCTION.  xxxv 

apprentice,  of  Cheapside  madam  or  Wapping  "waist- 
coatier,"  it  is  not  greatly  remarkable  that  a  hearty 
reception  was  accorded. 

We  know  not  for  how  long  the  plays  of  John 
Heywood  continued  to  hold  the  stage,  but  they 
must  inevitably  have  fallen  into  discredit  upon  the 
first  approach  of  the  Elizabethans.  In  1633,  exactly  a 
century  after  the  publication  of  Heywood's  plays,  we 
find  Ben  Jonson,  in  the  last  play  which  he  was  ever 
permitted  to  give  to  the  world,  pointing  unmerited 
ridicule  at  the  name  of  Heywood.  The  play  in  which 
Jonson  satirises  our  author  is  the  Tale  of  a  Tub,  and 
the  scene  is  that  in  which  the  wise  men  of  Finsbury 
are  arranging  the  preliminaries  of  a  new  piece  which 
they  have  undertaken  to  exhibit,  with  the  Tale  of  a 
Tub  as  its  title.  Its  author, 

Medlay  the  joiner, 
The  only  man  at  a  disguise  in  Middlesex, 

by  whom  Inigo  Jones  is  intended,  considers  it 
necessary  to  view  the  tubs  and  washing  appliances 
the  better  to  stimulate  his  imagination.  The  squire 
accordingly  directs  them  to  inspect  his  washhouse, 
adding — 

Spare  us  no  cost,  either  in  boards  or  hoops 
To  architect  your  tub  :  have  you  ne'er  a  cooper 
At  London,  call'd  Vitruvius  ?  send  for  him  : 
Or  old  John  Heywood,  call  him  to  you  to  help. 


In  searching  for  a  clue  to  our  author's  parentage, 
we  gave  preference  to  the  neighbourhood  of  the  court 
as  the  place  wherein  to  discover  the  parents  or  family 
connections  who  would  naturally  have  been  the  means 
of  procuring  him  his  early  employment  in  the  house- 
hold. Two  persons  of  his  name  are  found  mentioned 
in  the  State  papers,  both  being  under  rather  than 
above  the  middle  station,  and  both  being  dependents 
in  the  royal  establishment.  One  is  a  William  Hey- 
wood,  yeoman  of  the  guard,  whose  name  is  constantly 
occurring  as  the  receiver  of  sixpence  a  day,  seemingly 
some  perquisite  of  a  yeoman  of  the  crown.  In  a 
curious  account,  which,  among  other  items,  also  re- 
cords a  payment  to  "  The  Boy  Bishop  at  West- 
minster," this  sixpenny  fee  appears  converted  into  a 
permanent  pension. 

The  one  other  Heywood  whose  position  might  be 
supposed  to  tally  with  that  of  the  father  of  the  pro- 
verbialist,  is  a  William  Heywood,  described  as  "  King's 
joiner "  in  the  entries  of  the  treasury  accounts.  In 
1514,  this  individual  was  at  work  on  the  "Great 
Harry ;  "  and  six  years  later,  at  the  pageant  of  the  Field 
of  the  Cloth  of  Gold,  he  held  a  place  in  the  retinue 
of  the  King.  The  position,  it  is  true,  he  shared  in 
company  of  "  yeomen  bit-makers "  and  "  sergeant 
saddlers  ;"  and  the  pay  of  twelve-pence  per  day  which 


he  received  while  on  this  expedition,  would  seem  to 
bespeak  him  of  the  class  of  skilled  mechanics.  It  re- 
mains quite  conjectural  whether  either  of  these  persons 
can  be  identified  as  John  Heywood's  relative  ;  but  we 
cannot  think  it  improbable  that  the  father  of  the 
"  singing-man"  at  court  was  no  other  than  this 
William  Heywood,  engaged,  as  we  find  him  to  have 
been,  in  supplying  furniture  and  equipments  to  the 
king's  buffoons  at  Greenwich  and  St.  James'. 

In  the  first  years  of  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.,  four 
separate  companies  of  comedians  were  maintained  for 
the  royal  amusement.  Two  only  were  established  on 
a  permanent  footing  ;  the  two  others,  namely,  the 
"  Gentlemen "  and  the  "  Children  "  of  the  Chapel, 
playing  occasionally,  and  receiving  respectively  ;£io, 
and  £6  13^.  ^d.  for  their  performances.  Attached  to 
this  latter  company  of  performers  we  find  John  Hey- 
wood, who  must  have  been  quite  a  child  at  the  date 
(1515),  when  the  book  of  payments  first  makes  men- 
tion of  him.  He  then  drew  eight-pence  a  day  as  his 
salary.  Five  years  later,  he  is  receiving  a  quarterly 
income  of  one  hundred  shillings,  that  amount  ap- 
pearing to  have  been  ''synger  wages,"  as  a  manuscript 
pay-book  now  in  the  chapter-house  at  Westminster 
has  chronicled  it.  So  small  however  is  the  stock  of 
knowledge  that  we  actually  possess  with  regard  to 

xxxviii  I  NT  ROD  UCTION. 

John  Heywood,  that  from  a  passing  allusion  in  a 
comedy,  we  are  ready  to  infer  that  at  this  period  he 
had  already  commenced  the  business  of  a  play-writer  ; 
and  it  is  perhaps  the  same  paucity  of  materials  which 
makes  us  willing  to  conclude  that  he  had  started  as  an 
independent  manager,  when,  a  few  years  subsequently, 
we  find  a  sensible  deduction  in  the  amount  of  his 
regular  salary. 

On  comparing  the  receipts  of  Heywood  with  others 
of  a  like  nature,  we  discover  the  sum  of  £20  per 
annum  to  have  been  the  amount  of  honorarium  usually 
bestowed.  Such  is  the  sum  paid  annually  to  "  Vincent 
Voulp  painter,"  to  "the  King's  voulteger,"  and  to 
"  Nicholas  Craser  an  estronymer."  It  is  noticeable 
also  that  the  same  sum  exceeds  by  nearly  one  half 
the  amount  annually  paid  for  the  services  of  "  Pirro 
the  French  cook." 

The  publication  of  the  Cheque  Book  of  the  Chapel 
Royal,  so  ably  edited  by  Dr.  Rimbault,  has  enabled 
us  to  elucidate  a  previously  unexplained  point  in  the 
career  of  Heywood.  That  the  plebeian  singing-boy  of 
the  royal  chapel  should  be  found  a  student  at  Oxford 
University,  that  he  should  have  shared  the  friendship 
of  More  and  the  confidence  of  Queen  Mary,  and 
should  finally  become  possessor  of  estates  in  several 
English  counties,  appear  to  be  circumstances  incom- 

IN  TROD  UC  TIO  N.  xxxix 

patible  with  the  known  indignity  of  his  profession. 
But  the  Liber  Niger  Domini  Regis,  a  manuscript 
cited  in  Dr.  Rimbault's  work,  admits  us  to  a  view  of 
the  economy  of  this  semi-religious  establishment,  and 
supplies  information  which  allows  us  to  account  for 
the  singing-boy's  promotion.  First,  directing  the 
whole  affairs  of  this  priestly  corporation,  but  taking 
no  part  in  the  liturgical  services  of  the  church,  was 
placed  a  resident  dean.  Beneath  him,  and  in  order  of 
seniority,  came  twenty-four  chaplains  of  the  chapel. 
It  is  singular  to  read  of  their  daily  allotments — the 
clean's  allowance  of  three  loaves,  the  chaplain's  mess 
of  meat  and  portion  of  spice  and  wine,  the  latter 
however  allowable  only  after  an  evening  service.  To 
a  share  in  these  benefits,  the  lay  portion  of  the  chapelry 
were  likewise  entitled,  whose  sum  total  of  eleven  per- 
sons consisted  of  a  "  Master  of  Songe,"  two  Epistellers, 
or  readers  of  the  Epistles,  and  eight  Children  of  the 
Chapel.  At  the  time,  then,  that  Heywood  entered 
the  chapel  choir,  a  restricted  yet  honourable  career 
was  presented  to  a  youth  of  musical  proficiency.  He 
might  at  least  aspire  to  become  an  "  Episteller,"  or, 
taking  holy  orders,  would  in  due  course  arrive  at  the 
full  dignity  of  King's  chaplain.  But  as  a  soprano 
voice  was  far  more  highly  valued  in  this  establish- 
ment than  either  eloquence  or  scholarship,  an  outlet 


was  found  for  elderly  choristers  by  draughting  them 
off,  at  his  majesty's  expense,  to  the  Universities  of 
Oxford  or  Cambridge.1  Of  this  privilege  we  must 
suppose  Heywood  to  have  availed  himself,  as  we  find 
him  to  have  been  entered  as  a  student  at  Broadgate, 
now  Pembroke  College,  Oxford. 

It  is  somewhat  remarkable  that  materials  for  a 
biography  of  John  Heywood  can  but  with  difficulty 
be  recovered  from  the  published  remains  of  his  cen- 
tury. After  quitting  the  University,  it  is  probable 
that  he  almost  immediately  took  up  the  profession  of 
theatrical  instructor  to  a  company  of  performing  chil- 
dren, at  the  same  time  holding  on  to  his  emoluments 
in  the  household.  But  of  his  career  as  a  public  caterer 
no  record  has  come  down  to  us,  indeed,  his  long  con- 
nection with  the  stage  is  evidenced  only  by  desultory 
notices  in  private  account  books,  more  particularly 
those  used  in  the  royal  household  in  regulating  the 
daily  expenses.  In  one  of  these,  as  early  as  the 

1  And  when  any  of  these  children  comene  to  be  xviij  years  of 
age,  and  their  voices  change,  ne  cannot  be  preferred  in  this 
chappelle,  the  nombere  being  full,  then  yf  they  will  assente,  the 
Kyng  assynethe  them  to  a  College  of  Oxeford  or  Cambridge  of  his 
foundation,  there  to  be  at  fynding  and  studye  both  suffytyently, 
tylle  the  King  may  otherwise  advaunce  them. — MS.  Harleian, 
(293,  642). 


year  1526,  mention  is  made  of  a  quarterly  salary  of 
fifty  shillings,  paid  by  way  of  retainer  to  secure  Hey- 
wood's  services  in  the  King's  musical  establishment. 
Again  in  1537,  a  payment  to  Heywood  of  two  pounds 
occurs  among  the  items  of  Princess  Mary's  expendi- 
ture and  mention  of  a  like  disbursement  is  also  found 
in  the  privy  purse  accounts  of  Princess  Elizabeth. 
Both  sums  are  in  remuneration  for  the  performances  of 
Heywood's  children.  Of  these  identical  performances 
no  account  has  been  preserved,  but  a  memorial  of  a 
similar  celebration  that  has  come  down  to  us,  is  not 
the  least  curious  of  the  curiosities  connected  with 
the  stage.  From  this  document  we  gather  some 
particulars  of  the  performance  of  a  Latin  play,  acted 
at  Greenwich  before  Henry  VIII.  and  visitors  from 
France,  Marechal  Montmorency,  the  Bishop  of  Rouen 
and  Monsieur  d'Humieres.  The  entrepreneur  on  this 
occasion  was  not  John  Heywood,  but  the  Head 
Master  of  St.  Paul's  School,  John  Rightwise,  better 
known  to  fame  in  connection  with  Lyly's  Latin 
Grammar.  The  play,  which  was  the  work  of  Right- 
wise  himself,  and  was  performed  by  his  own  pupils, 
aimed  at  heaping  ridicule  on  Luther  and  the  faith  of 
the  reformers.  When  we  say  that  the  characters  in 
this  piece  bear  the  names  of  Ecclesia,  Heresy  and 
False-Interpretation,  the  theological  nature  of  the 


entertainment  will  be  readily  surmised.  Such  com- 
panies of  juvenile  comedians  as  that  which  Heywood 
conducted  were  the  object  of  considerable  animosity 
among  maturer  actors,  and  Shakespeare  himself  had 
afterwards  to  complain  of  their  counter-attractiveness. 
Ben  Jonson,  on  the  contrary,  entrusted  his  best  plays 
to  their  performing,  and  on  the  death  of  Salathiel 
Pavey,  one  of  the  children,  most  admiringly  writes,— 

He  did  play  old  men  so  duly, 
That,  sooth,  the  Parcse  thought  him  one, 
,    He  played  so  truly. 

In  the  Metamorphosis  of  Ajax,  1596,  we  observe 
that  Sir  John  Harrington  commiserates  Heywood  as 
having  so  narrowly  escaped  "the  jerke  of  the  six- 
stringed  whip."  The  circumstance  alluded  to  occurred 
in  1 544,  when  our  author,  relying  too  implicitly  per- 
haps on  the  protection  of  his  friends  at  court,  was  so 
daring  and  uncompromising  as  to  deny  the  spiritual 
supremacy  of  the  King.  The  terror  of  the  situation, 
however,  appears  to  have  prevailed,  for  the  unfortunate 
dramatist  was  permitted  to  expiate  his  offences  by 
appearing  at  Paul's  Cross,  and  there  proclaiming  a 
rigmarole  of  recantations,  to  which,  as  we  are  aware, 
the  firm  inflexibility  of  his  opinions  would  never 
have  permitted  him  conscientiously  to  subscribe.  "  I 
come  hither  at  this  time,  good  people!"  he  begins, 


"  willinglye  and  of  mine  own  desyrouse  suit,  to  show 
and  declare  unto  you  briefly,  first  of  all,  the  great  and 
inestimable  clemency  and  mercifulness  of  my  most 
sovereign  and  redoubted  prince  the  kings  majesty, 
the  which  his  highness  hath  most  graciously  used 
towards  me  a  wretch,  most  justly  and  worthily  con- 
demned to  die  for  my  manifold  and  outrageous 
offences.  For  whereas,"  he  continues,  "  his  majesty's 
supremacy  hath  so  often  been  opened  unto  me  both 
by  writing  and  speaking  (if  I  had  had  grace  either  to 
open  my  eyes  to  see  it,  or  mine  ears  to  hear  it),  to  be 
surely  and  certainly  grounded  and  established  upon 
the  very  true  way  of  God  ;  yet  for  lack  of  grace,  I 
have  most  wilfully  and  obstinately  suffered  myself  to 
fall  to  such  blindness,  that  I  have  not  only  thought 
that  the  Bishop  of  Rome  hath  been,  and  ought  to  be, 
taken  the  chief  and  supreme  head  of  the  universal 
church  of  Christ  in  earth  ;  but  also,  like  no  true  sub- 
ject, concealed  and  favoured  such  as  I  have  known  or 
thought  to  be  of  the  same  opinion.  For  the  which 
most  detestable  treasons  and  untruths,  I  here  most 
humbly  and  with  all  my  heart,  first  of  all  axe  the 
king's  majesty  forgiveness,  and  secondarily  all  the 
world." ! 

1  MS.  Lambeth.     Banner  Register *,  fol.  61.     Fox's  Acts  and 
Monuments  ^  v.  538. 

xliv  I  NT  ROD  UCTION. 

Without  any  direct  authority  for  the  assertion, 
Heywood  has  been  numbered  among  the  merry 
fellows  who  occupied  the  position  of  professed  jester 
at  the  Court  of  our  English  Kings.  Such  an  one,  it 
was  currently  said,  could  not  be  a  wise  man  to  take 
the  place  and  could  not  be  a  fool  to  keep  it.  It  is 
certain  that  the  clowns  and  merry-andrews  whom  the 
Plantagenet  and  even  the  Tudor  kings  loved  to  have 
constantly  about  them,  were  frequently  men  of  fair 
literary  attainments  and  of  good  social  standing. 
So  long  ago  as  the  eleventh  century,  a  chartered  fool 
had  amassed  so  considerable  a  treasure  in  the  exercise 
of  his  vocation,  that  the  possessions  for  long  after 
held  at  Walworth  by  the  see  of  Canterbury,  came  by 
his  bequest  to  be  the  property  of  the  cathedral  church. 
Not  only  the  jester  of  Edmund  Ironside,  but  the  can- 
tatores  and  joculatores  of  the  sterner  Norman  princes 
carried  away  huge  proceeds  to  enhance  the  comfort 
of  their  private  lives.  At  the  court  of  William  I.  the 
jester  Berdic  is  said  to  have  retired  with  a  grant  of 
five  carucates  of  land  and  the  lordship  of  five  towns  as 
his  pension  ;  and  the  magnificent  hospital  now  ex- 
isting in  Smithfield  is  reported  to  have  been  primarily 
erected  with  the  gains  of  the  licensed  jester  of  Henry  I. 
Arguing  from  these  precedents,  it  has  been  presumed 
that  the  presents  and  pensions  repeatedly  granted  to 


John  Heywood  corroborate  the  supposition  that  he 
also  is  among  the  King's  jesters.  The  property  Hey- 
wood accumulated  was  considerable.  First  of  all  we 
discover  that  in  1521,  an  annuity  of  ten  marks  was 
granted  to  "  John  Heywood,  the  King's  servant " 
chargeable  on  the  rentals  of  two  manors  in  North- 
amptonshire formerly  enjoyed  by  a  certain  Thomas 
Farthing.1  Again  in  1558,  five  days  before  Queen 
Mary's  death,  there  was  granted  to  him  under  the 
description  of  "  John  Heywood  gentleman  "  the  manor 
of  Bulmer  in  Yorkshire,  lately  the  property  of  Sir 
John  Bulmer  who  had  become  attainted  for  his  com- 
plicity in  the  Pilgrimage  of  Grace.2  When,  in  1577,  a 
commission  was  appointed  to  enquire  into  the  lands 
and  goods  of  our  author  and  his  wife,  they  found  him 
to  have  been  possessed  for  life  of  certain  lands  at  a 
nominal  rental,  of  which  Heywood  also  held  a  rever- 
sion. Also  that  Eliza  Heywood  had  land  of  £5 
yearly  value  which  had  passed  by  grant  to  their 
daughter  Elizabeth.  They  also  found  that  he  held  a 
lease  from  the  Queen  of  lands  in  Kent  worth  £100, 
which  was  forfeited  by  reason  of  his  political 
offences.  Another  authority  states  that  he  was  pos- 

1  State  Papers.     Henry  VIII.  iii.  1 186. 
1  State  Papers.     Domestic.  XIV.  8. 


sessed  of  customary  lands  in  Hertfordshire,  at  North 

We  have  noticed  Queen  Mary's  death-bed  gift  to 
John  Heywood,  and  it  is  easy  to  perceive  that  this 
was  not  the  only  kind  office  that  the  zealous  Queen 
performed  for  him.  Probably  Hey  wood's  rescue  from 
execution  was  due  to  the  royal  lady's  intervention, 
as  it  is  certain  that  between  the  Princess  and  the 
singing-man  there  had  existed  a  long  and  honourable 
intimacy.  He  is  the  English  Rizzio  without  the 
tragedy,  also,  it  may  be  mentioned,  without  the 

"  What  wind  blew  you  to  court  ?"  asked  the  Queen, 
as  one  day  Heywood  made  his  appearance. 

"  Two,"  replied  the  favourite,  "  especially  the  one  to 
see  your  Majesty." 

"We  thank  you  for  that,"  said  Queen  Mary,  "but 
what  is  the  other?" 

"That  your  Grace,"  he  replied,  "may  see  me." 

Another  time,  as  it  is  recorded  in  Ben  Jonson's 
Conversations  with  Drummond,  he  came  so  rudely 
into  the  presence  that  the  Queen  herself  had  to  inter- 
fere. "She  had  made  him  so  brave,"  she  said,  "that 
he  had  almost  misknowen  himself."  When  she  was 
at  the  age  of  eighteen  he  had  composed  a  poem  in 
her  praise,  and  though  the  verses  have  been  adduced 

I  NT  ROD  UCTION.  xlvii 

as  an  instance  of  "his  poetic  policy,"  it  should  be 
remembered  that  the  piece  of  flattery  was  bestowed 
at  a  time  when  the  object  of  it  was  friendless  and  in 
disgrace.  At  her  coronation,  Heywood  took  a  leading 
part  in  the  pageant  and  festivities,  and  composed 
another  copy  of  laudatory  verses.  Even  in  her  last 
moments,  Heywood  was  permitted  to  be  present, 
and  then,  as  we  have  seen,  his  service  and  his 
friendship  were  not  suffered  to  pass  unrecognised 
or  unrewarded. 

We  have  already  spoken  of  Heywood  as  a  dra- 
matist, it  now  remains  for  us  to  notice  him  as  a  poet. 
His  verse  has  not  attained  to  equal  notoriety  with  his 
dramas ;  for  among  a  coterie  of  bad  poets,  Heywood 
is  easily  distinguished  as  the  worst.  He  has  written 
little  that  soars  higher  than  the  merest  doggerel.  Of 
his  epigrams,  six  hundred  in  number,  not  one  has 
found  a  place  in  the  English  anthology.  Of  his  best 
we  will  only  say  that  they  are  as  puerile  as  the 
worst  of  Martial's,  and  nearly  as  indelicate.  His 
single  epic,  upon  which  its  author  must  have  staked 
his  poetic  reputation,  may  at  one  time  have  found 
place  among  the  other  controversial  writings  of 
that  century  ;  though  probably  no  one — unless  Dr. 
Doran  be  an  exception — has  since  had  the  boldness 
to  peruse  it.  But  the  historian  of  Court  Fools,  after 


toiling  to  the  end  of  the  last  stanza,  is  convinced 
that  the  "  Spider  and  the  Fly  "  of  John  Heywood 
is  not  nearly  so  entertaining  as  is  the  same  poem  by 
the  free-and-easy  poet,  Tom  Hudson.  Not  having 
studied  our  author's  weightiest  production,  we  can 
offer  no  opinion  on  it;  but  the  Proverbs — which  we 
have  read — could  scarcely  be  out-done  in  the  way  of 
dense  and  stupid  poetasting.  But  still  in  the  face  of 
this  conviction  we  will  yet  maintain,  and  in  this  view 
we  shall  not  be  wanting  for  supporters,  that  the  store 
of  sayings  and  adages  which  the  old  Court  Jester  has 
collected,  are  worthy  of  preservation  as  an  antiquity 
of  literature  and  a  land-mark  in  the  history  of  the 
English  mind. 

It  now  only  remains  for  us  to  add  that  the  edition 
we  have  used  in  our  present  version  of  the  Proverbs, 
is  that  published  in  1598,  being  the  last  that  issued 
from  the  press.  We  have  selected  the  later  impres- 
sion as  being  more  free  from  corruptions ;  though  the 
first  edition,  that  of  1546,  is  the  more  valuable  as 
it  is  but  very  rarely  met  with.  The  unwieldiness 
of  Heywood's  own  title  must  be  our  excuse  for  sup- 
pressing it  in  this  version,  and  the  original  having 
changed  its  appearance  so  completely  in  our  hands, 
will  perhaps  justify  the  slight  fraud  upon  our  author. 


We  proceed  to  give  his  title  exactly  as  we  find  it; 
remarking  that  the  latter  portion  of  the  title-page 
alludes  to  another  and  distinct  work : — 



With  respect  to  the  preface  the  editor  begs  to  state 
that  he  has  refrained  from  the  usual  course  of  sup- 
plying every  chance  mention  of  an  author's  name 
which  may  with  great  pains  be  discovered  in  obscure 
contemporary  literature.  He  has  preferred  to  give 
only  such  facts  and  surmises  as  may  be  new  to  the 
biographer,  or  such  remarks  and  reflections  as  these 
may  give  rise  to.  He  has  already  traced  the  revival 
of  old  saws  which  followed  the  publication  of  Hey- 
wood's  book.  But  previous  to  penning  these  last 



lines,  he  has  lighted  upon  a  speech  in  a  coeval 
comedy  which  bears  him  out  in  the  justness  of  his 
deductions.  The  play  is  the  one  which  is  well  known 
as  the  master-piece  of  Decker,  and  the  proverb- 
revival  is  plainly  aimed  at  when  one  of  the  buffo- 
characters  begins  to  quote  learnedly  from  a  cheese- 
trencher.  Quaint  applications  for  sentences  and 
maxims  have  since  become  more  common;  but  in 
this  incident  in  Decker's  comedy  we  are  strikingly 
reminded  of  that  unfortunate  poem  by  Sir  Bland 
Burges,  which  Lord  Byron  declares  having  read 
on  the  lining  of  a  trunk  at  Malta. — "And  if  you 
don't  believe  me,"  adds  the  poet,  "  I  will  buy  a  port- 
manteau to  quote  from." 


Kensington,  March,  1874. 




MONG   other  things   profiting   in   our 

Those   which  much  may  profit  both 

old  and  yong: 
Such  as  on  their  fruit  will  feede  or  take  holde, 
Are  our  common  plaine  pithie  Proverbs  olde. 
Some  sense  of  some  of  which  being  bare  and  rude, 
Yet  to  fine  and  fruitfull  effect  they  allude, 
And  their  sentences  include  so  large  a  reach, 
That  almost  in  all  things  good  lessons  they  teach. 
This  write  I  not  to  teach,  but  to  touch  ;  for  why  ? 
Men  know  this  as  well  or  better  then  I. 


:-.  PREFACE. 

But  this  and  this  rest ;  I  write  for  this, 
Remembring  and  considering  what  the  pith  is, 
That,  by  remembrance  of  these,  Proverbs  may  grow. 
In  this  tale,  erst  talked  with  a  friend,  I  show 
As  many  of  them  as  we  could  fitly  finde 
Falling  to  purpose,  that  might  fall  in  minde  ; 
To  th'  entent  that  the  Reader  readily  may 
Finde  them  and  minde  them,  when  he  will  alway. 



F  mine  acquaintance  a  certaine  young 


(Being  a  resorter  to  me  now  and  than) 
Resorted  lately,  shewing  himselfe  to  be 
Desirous  to  talke  at  length  alone  with  me 
And  as  we  for  this  a  meete  place  had  won, 
With  this  olde  proverbe,  this  young  man  begon  : 
Whoso  that  knew  what  would  be  deare, 
Should  neede  be  a  marchant  but  one  year e. 
Though  it,  (quoth  he),  thing  impossible  bee, 
The  full  sequele  of  present  things  to  foresee, 
Yet  doth  this  proverbe  provoke  every  man, 
Politikely,  (as  man  possibly  can), 
In  things  to  come  after,  to  cast  eye  before, 
To  cast  out,  or  keepe  in,  things  for  fore  store, 


As  the  provision  may  seeme  most  profitable, 

And  the  commoditie  most  commendable. 

Into  this  consideration  I  am  wrought 

By  two  things,  which  fortune  to  hands  hath  brought. 

Two  women  I  know,  of  which  twaine  the  tone 

Is  a  mayde  of  flowring  age,  a  goodly  one ; 

Th'  other  a  widow,  who  so  many  yeares  beares, 

That  all  her  whitenes  lyeth  in  her  white  heares. 

This  mayde  hath  friends  rich,  but  riches  she  hath  none, 

Nor  none  can  her  hands  get  to  live  upon. 

This  widow  is  very  rich  and  her  friends  bare, 

And  both  these  for  love  to  wed  with  me  fond  are. 

And  both  would  I  wed,  the  better  and  the  wurse, 

The  tone  for  her  person,  the  tother  for  her  purse  : 

They  wooe  not  my  substance,  but  my  selfe  they  wooe, 

Goods  have  I  none  and  small  good  can  I  dooe. 

On  this  poore  maide,  her  rich  friends,  I  cleerly  know, 

(So  she  wedde  where  they  will),  great  gifts  wil  bestow, 

But  with  them  all  I  am  so  far  from  faver, 

That  she  shall  sure  have  no  grote,  if  I  have  her ; 

And  I  shall  have  as  little  all  my  friends  sweare, 

Except  I  follow  them  to  wedde  elswhere. 

The  poore  friends  of  this  rich  widow  beare  no  sway, 

But  wed  her  and  win  wealth,  when  I  will  I  may. 

Now  which  of  these  twaine  is  like  to  be  deerest, 

In  paine  or  pleasure  to  sticke  to  me  neerest  ? 


The  depth  of  all  doubts  with  you  to  consither, 
The  sense  of  the  sayd  proverbe  sendeth  me  hither, 
The  best  bargaine  of  both  quickly  to  have  skand, 
For  one  of  them  think  I  to  make  out  of  hand. 


IRIEND,  (quoth  I),  welcome,  and  with  right 

good  will, 

I  will  as  I  can  your  minde  herein  fulfill. 
And  two  things  I  see  in  you,  that  shew  you  wise, 
First  in  wedding,  ere  ye  wed  to  aske  advise. 
The  second,  your  yeares  being  yong  it  appeares, 
Ye  regard  yet  good  proverbs  of  old  feme  yeares : 
And  as  ye  ground  your  tale  upon  one  of  them, 
Furnish  me  this  tale  with  everychone  of  them, 
Such  as  may  fitly  fall  in  minde  to  dispose. 
Agreed,  (quoth  he)  ;  then,  (quoth  I),  first  this  disclose, 
Have  you  to  this  old  widow,  or  this  yong  mayd, 
Any  words  of  assurance  ere  this  tyme  sayd  ? 
Nay  in  good  faith,  said  he.     Well  then,  (said  I), 
I  will  be  plaine  with  you,  and  may  honestly ; 
And  plainly  too  speake,  I  like  you,  (as  I  sayd), 


In  two  fore  told  things,  but  a  third  haue  I  wayd, 

Not  so  much  to  be  liked,  as  I  can  deeme, 

Which  is,  in  your  wedding,  your  haste  too  extreeme. 

The  best  and  worst  thing  to  man  for  this  life, 

Is  good  or  ill  choosing  his  good  or  ill  wife. 

I  meane  not  onely  of  bodie  good  or  bad, 

But  of  all  things  meet  or  unmeete  to  be  had, 

Such  as  at  any  time  by  any  meanes  may, 

Betweene  man  and  wife,  love  encrease  or  decay. 

Where  this  ground  in  any  head  gravely  grateth, 

All  fine  haste  to  wed,  it  soone  rebateth. 

Some  things  that  provoke  yong  men  to  wred  in  haste, 

Show  after  wedding,  that  haste  maketh  waste. 

When  time  hath  turnd  white  sugar  to  white  salt, 

Then  such  folke  see,  soft  fire  matfth  sweet  malt,1 

1  Soft  fire  matfth  sweet  malt. 

Nicholas.  O  maister  Philip,  forbeare  ;  you  must  not  leape 
over  the  stile  before  you  come  at  it ;  haste  makes  waste ;  soft 
fire  makes  sweet  malt ;  not  too  far  for  falling  ;  there's  no  hast 
to  hang  true  men. 

Philip.  Father,  we  ha'te,  ye  see,  we  ha'te.  Now  will  I  see  if 
my  memorie  will  serve  for  some  proverbs,  too.  O, — a  painted 
cloath  were  as  well  worth  a  shilling  as  a  theefe  worth  a  halter. — 
Two  Angry  Women  of  Abington,  1599. 

Hold,  hold,  quoth  Hudibras,  soft  fire, 

They  say,  does  make  sweet  malt,  good  Squire, 

Festina  lente,  not  too  fast ; 

For  haste  (the  proverb  says)  makes  waste. 



And  that  deliberation  doth  men  assist, 
Before  they  wed  to  beware  of  had  I  wist? 
And  then  their  timely  wedding  doth  cleerely  appeere 
That  they  were  early  up,  and  never  the  neere. 
And  once  their  hastie  heate  a  little  controlde, 
Then  perceive  they  well,  hot  love  soone  colde? 
And  when  hastie  witles  mirth  is  mated  weele, 
Good  to  be  merie  and  wise?  they  thinke  and  feele. 

2  Beware  of  had  I  wist. 

A  common  exclamation  of  regret  occurring  in  Spenser, 
Harrington  and  the  older  writers.  "  Beware  of  had-I-wist"  is 
the  title  of  a  poem  in  the  Paradise  of  Dainty  Devices •,  1578  ;  and 
in  Witts  Recreation,  1654,  the  expression  is  rhymed  upon  in  an 
epitaph  on  one  Walter  Moon  : — 

Here  lies  Wat  Moon,  that  great  tobacconist, 
Who  dye'd  too  soon  for  lack  of  had-I-wist. 

An  earlier  instance  of  the  application  of  this  phrase  is  found 
in  the  Towneley  Mysteries,  circa  1420  : — 

Be  welle  war  of  wedyng,  and  thynk  in  youre  thought 
"  Had  I  wist "  is  a  thyng  it  servys  of  nought. 

The  term  could  not  have  been  uncommon  so  late  as  1827,  in 
which  year  a  Mr.  Jeffries  Taylor  (Old  English  Sayings  Ex- 
'boundea)  wrote  a  moral  essay  with  the  proverb  as  its  title. 

3  Hot  love  soone  colde. 

Dowghter,  in  this  I  can  thinke  none  oother 
But  that  it  is  true  thys  proverbe  old, 
Hastye  love  is  soone  hot  and  soone  cold  ! 

Play  of  Wyt  and  Science^  circa  1 540. 

*  Good  to  be  merie  and  wise. 

Touchstone.   Did  I  gaine  my  wealth  by  ordinaries  ?   no  ;   by 


Haste  in  wedding  some  man  thinketh  his  own  availe, 
When  haste  proveth  a  rod  made  for  his  own  taile. 
And  when  he  is  well  beaten  with  his  owne  rod? 
Then  seeth  he  haste  and  wisedome  things  far  od  ; 
And  that  in  all,  or  most  things,  wisht  at  neede, 
Most  times  he  seeth,  the  more  haste  the  lesse  speede. 
In  lesse  things  than  wedding,  haste  shew'th  hastie  mas 


So  that  the  hastie  man  never  wanteth  woe? 
These  sage  said  sawes  if  ye  take  so  profound, 
As  ye  take  that  by  which  ye  tooke  your  ground, 
Then  finde  ye  grounded  cause  by  these  now  here  told 
In  haste  to  wedding  your  haste  to  withold. 

changing  of  gold  ?  no.  I  hired  me  a  little  shop,  fought  low, 
tooke  small  gaine,  kept  no  debt  booke,  garnished  my  shop, 
for  want  of  plate,  with  good  wholesome,  thriftie  sentences  ; 
as,  "  Touchstone,  keepe  thy  shoppe,  and  thy  shoppe  will 
keepe  thee."  "  Light  gaines  make  heavie  purses."  "  Tis  good 
to  be  merry  and  wise." — Eastward  Hoe^  1605,  by  CHAPMAN, 

5  Beaten  with  his  owne  rod. 

don  fust 

Con  kint  sovent  est-on  batu. 

Roman  du  Renart,  circa  1300. 

6  The  hastie  man  never  wanteth  woe. 

Mistress  Touchstone.  Thou  wert  afire  to  be  a  ladie,  and  now 
your  ladiship  and  you  may  both  blowe  at  the  cole,  for  aught  I 
know.  "  Selfe  doe,  selfe  have."  "  The  hastie  man  never 
wanteth  woe  "  they  say. — Eastward  Hoe,  act  v.  sc.  i. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  9 


And  though  they  seeme  wives  for  you  never  so  fit, 
Yet  let  not  harmfull  haste  so  far  out  run  your  wit : 
But  that  ye  harke  to  heare  all  the  whole  summe 
That  may  please  or  displease  you  in  time  to  cumme. 
Thus  by  these  lessons  ye  may  learne  good  cheape 
In  wedding  and  all  things  to  looke  ere  ye  leaped 
Ye  have  even  now  well  over  lookte  me,  (quoth  he), 
And  leapt  very  nie  me  too.     For  I  agree 
That  these  sage  sayings  doe  weightily  way 
Against  hast  in  all  thing,  but  I  am  at  bay. 
By  other  parables  of  like  weighty  weight, 
Which  hast  me  to  wedding,  as  yee  shall  heare  streight. 

7  Looke  ere  ye  leape. 

In  Tottet s  Miscellany,  1557  ;  and  in  Five  Hundred  Points  of 
Good  Husbandry,  1573,  by  THOMAS  TUSSER. 

io  THE    PROVERBS    OF 


I E  that  will  not  when  he  may. 

When  he  would  he  shall  have  nay? 
Beautie  or  riches  the  tone  of  the  twaine 
Now  may  I  choose,  and  which  me  list  obtaine. 
And  if  we  determine  me  this  mayde  to  take, 
And  then  tract  of  time  traine  her  me  to  forsake, 
Then  my  beautifull  manage  lieth  in  the  dike ; 
And  never  for  beautie  shall  wed  the  like. 
Now  if  we  award  me  this  widow  to  wed, 
And  that  I  drive  off  time,  till  time  she  be  ded, 
Then  farewell  riches,  the  fat  is  in  the  fire? 
And  never  shall  I  to  like  riches  aspire. 
And  a  thousand  fold  would  it  grieve  me  more 
That  she  in  my  faulte  should  die  an  houre  before 

8  He  that  will  not,  &>c. 

In  BURTON'S  Anatomy  of  Melancholy,  1621:— 
He  that  will  not  when  he  may, 
When  he  will  he  shall  have  nay. 

9  The  fat  is  in  the  fire. 

Phy.  Faith,  Doricus,  thy  braine  boils  ;  keele  it,  keele  it,  or  all 
the  fatt's  in  the  fire. — MARSTON'S  What  You  Will,  1607. 


Than  one  minute  after  ;  than  haste  must  provoke 
When  the  pigge  is  proffer d  to  hold  up  the  poke  ; 
When  the  Sunne  shineth  make  hay  ;  which  is  to  say, 
Take  time  when  time  comth,  lest  time  steale  away. 
And  one  good  lesson  to  this  purpose  I  pike 
From  the  smith's  forge,  when  th  iron  is  hot,  strike.™ 
The  sure  Seaman  seeth,  the  tide  tarieth  no  man^ 
And  long  delayes  or  absence  somewhat  to  skan, 

10  When  ttt  iron  is  hot,  strike. 

Birdlime.  Strike  whilst  the  iron  is  hot.  A  woman,  when  there 
be  roses  in  her  cheeks,  cherries  on  her  lips,  civet  in  her  breath, 
ivory  in  her  teeth,  lilies  in  her  hand,  and  liquorice  in  her  heart, 
why,  she's  like  a  play  :  if  new,  very  good  company  ;  but  if  stale, 
like  old  Jeronimo,  go  by,  go  by,  therefore,  as  I  said  before,  strike. 
Besides,  you  must  think  that  the  commodity  of  beauty  was  not 
made  to  lie  dead  upon  any  young  woman's  hands :  if  your  husband 
have  given  up  his  cloak,  let  another  take  measure  of  you  in  his 
jerkin  ;  for  as  the  cobbler  in  the  night-time  walks  with  his  lantern, 
the  merchant  and  the  lawyer  with  his  link,  and  the  courtier  with 
his  torch,  so  every  lip  has  its  lettuce  to  himself:  the  lob  has  his 
lass,  the  collier  his  dowdy,  the  western-man  his  punk,  the  student 
his  nun  in  Whitefriars,  the  puritan  his  sister,  and  the  lord  his 
lady ;  which  worshipful  vocation  may  fall  upon  you,  if  you'll  but 
strike  whilst  the  iron  is  hot. — WEBSTER'S  Westward  Hoe,  1607. 

Messieurs,  ce  pendant  que  le  fer  est  chauld  il  le  fault  battre. 

RABELAIS,  ii.  31. 

11  The  tide  tarieth  no  man. 

In  a  poem  by  Robert  Southwell,  a  work  in  every  respect  much 
above  the  average  of  the  didactic  poetry  of  that  day,  the  prover- 
bial saying  is  introduced  into  a  carefully  wrought  stanza  :  — 

Hoist  up  saile  while  gale  doth  last, 
Tide  and  wind  stay  no  man's  pleasure  ; 

12  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Since  that  one  will  not  another  will, 

Delayes  in  wooers  must  needes  their  speede  spill. 

And  touching  absence,  the  full  account  who  somthe 

Shall  see,  as  fast  as  one  goeth  another  comthe. 

Time  is  tickle  ;  and  out  of  sight,  out  of  minde  ; 12 

Than  catch  and  hold  while  I  may,  fast  bindefastfinde.^ 

Seeke  not  time,  when  time  is  past, 

Sober  speed  is  wisedome's  leisure  ; 
After  wits  are  dearely  bought, 
Let  thy  fore  wit  guide  thy  thought. 
The  poem  continues  : — 

Time  weares  all  his  lockes  before, 

Take  thou  hold  upon  his  forehead  ; 
When  he  flies,  he  turnes  no  more, 

And  behinde  his  scalpe  is  naked. 
Workes  adjourn'd  have  many  stayes 
Long  demurres  breed  hew  delayes. 

Seeke  thy  salve  whilst  sore  is  greene, 
Festered  wounds  aske  deeper  launcing ; 

After-cures  are  seldome  scene, 

Often  sought,  scarce  ever  chancing. 

Time  and  place  gives  best  advice. 

Out  of  season  out  of  price. 

St.  Peter's  Complaint,  1595. 

12  Out  of  sight,  out  of  minde. 

The  saying  has  been  traced  to  the  De  Imitatione  Christi,  by 
Thomas  a  Kempis,  written  circa  1450  : — "  Cum  autem  sublatus 
fuerit  ab  oculis,  cito  etiam  transit  a  mente."     It  occurs,  however, 
prior  to  this  in  an  early  English  fragment : — 
"  Fer  from  e3e,  fer  from  herte  " 
Quoth  Hendyng. 

Proverbs  of  Hendyng,  ms.  circa  1320. 

13  Fast  binde  fast finde. 
Shylock.        Well,  Jessica,  go  in  ; 


Blame  mee  not  to  hast  for  feare  myne  eye  bee  blerde. 
And  thereby  the  fat  cleane  flitte  fro  my  berde. 
Where  wooers  hop  in  and  out,  long  time  may  bring 
Him  that  hoppeth  best,  at  last  to  have  the  ring. 
I  hopping  without  for  a  ring  of  a  rush, 
And  while  I  at  length  debate  and  beate  the  bush, 
There  shall  steppe  in  other  men  and  catch  the  burdes.1* 
And  by  long  time  lost  in  many  vaine  wurdes, 
Betweene  these  two  wives  make  sloth  speed  confound, 
While  betweene  two  stooles  my  taile  goe  to  the  ground^ 

Perhaps,  I  will  return  immediately  ; 
Do,  as  I  bid  you, 

Shut  doors  after  you  ;  Fast  bind,  fast  find  ; 
A  proverb  never  stale  in  thrifty  mind. 

Merchant  of  Venice,  ii.  5. 
Wherefore  a  plaine  bargain  is  best,  and  in  bargaines  making  ; 
fast  bind,  fast  find.— Jests  of  Scogin,  1565. 

14  While  I beate  the  bush,  &c. 

I  beat  the  bush,  and  others  catch  the  bird, 
Reason  exclaimes  and  sweares  my  hap  is  hard. 
Philochasander  and  Elanira,  1599,  by  HENRY  PETTO  WE. 
It  is  this  proverb  which  Henry  the  Fifth  is  reported  to  have 
uttered  at  the  siege  of  Orleans,  when  the  citizens,  besieged  by  the 
English,  declared  themselves  willing  to  yield  the  town  to  the  Duke 
of  Burgundy,  who  was  in  the  English  camp.     "  Shall  I  beat  the 
bush,  and  another  take  the  bird  ?"  said  King  Henry.     The  Duke 
was  so  offended  that  he  withdrew  his  troops  and  concluded  a 

15  Betweene  two  stooles,  &c. 

A  proverb  found  in  a  French  manuscript  of  the  I4th  century  : — 
A  grant  folie  entent 
Qui  deus  choses  enprent 

14  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

By  this,  since  we  see  slouth  must  breed  a  scab. 

Best  sticke  to  the  tone  out  of  hand,  hab  or  nab. 

Thus  all  your  proverbs  inveying  against  hast, 

Be  answered  with  proverbs  plaine  and  promptly  plast, 

Whereby  to  purpose  all  this  no  further  fits, 

But  to  shew,  so  many  heads  so  many  wits^ 

Which  shew,  as  surely  in  all  that  they  all  tell, 

That  in  my  wedding  I  may  even  as  well 

Tary  too  long  and  thereby  come  to  late, 

As  come  too  soone  by  hast  in  any  rate  ; 

And  prove  this  proverbe  as  the  wordes  thereof  goe, 

Hast  or  sloth  herein  woorke  neither  welth  nor  woe. 

E  nule  ne  acheive  ; 
Savey  hi  1'en  dessert : 
L/une  par  autre  pert 
E  sei  meismes  greves. 
Entre  deux  arcouns  chet  cul  a  terre. 
Les  Proverbes  del  Vilain,  MS.  Bodleian,  circa  1300. . 
Is  afterwards  used  by  RABELAIS,  Gargantua,  liv.  i.  c.  ii. 

"  S'asseoir  entre  deux  selles  le  cul  a  terre." 
16  So  many  heads  so  many  wits. 

For  amonge  feaders  are  alwayes  sondry  appetytes,  and  in  great 
assemblyes  of  people,  dyvurse,  and  varyaunt  judgements  ;  as  the 
saynge  is,,  so  many  heades,  so  many  wyttes. — Godly  Meditacyon 
of  the  Christen  Sowle,  by  QUEEN  ELIZABETH,  1548. 

Phylautus.  Ah,  sirha,  I  see  wel  the  olde  proverbe  is  true, 
which  saith  :  so  many  men  so  many  mindes. — GASCOIGNE'S 
Glasse  of  Government,  1575. 

Quot  homines  tot  sententiae. 



Be  it  far  or  nie,  wedding  is  destiny  y 

And  hanging  likewise  17,  sayth  the  proverbe,  sayd  I. 

Then  wedde  or  hang,  (quoth  he),  what  helpeth  in  the 


To  hast  or  to  hang  aloofe,  happy  man  happy  dole.™ 
Ye  deale  this  dole,  (quoth  I),  out  at  a  wrong  dur, 
For  destiny  in  this  case  doth  not  so  stur 
Agaynst  mans  indeavour,  but  man  may  direct 
His  will,  fore  provision  to  worke  or  neglect. 
But  to  shew  that   quick  wedding  may  bring  good 


Somewhat  to  purpose  your  proverbs  prove  indeede. 
Howbeit,  whether  they  counterpaise  or  outway 
The  proverbes  which  I  before  them  did  lay, 

17  Wedding  is  destiny  and  hanging  likewise. 

An  earlier  mention  of  the  saying,  "  Hanging  and  wiving  go  by 
destiny,"  is  found  in  the  Schole-hous  for  Women,  1541.  In  1558, 
a  ballad  was  licensed  with  the  title  "  The  Proverbe  is  true  y l  Wed- 
dynge  is  destinye." 

18  "  Happy  man  be  your  dole"  was  an  exclamation  implying 
a  wish  for  success  to  any  one  engaging  in  a  contest  or  entering 
upon  an  undertaking. 

Mine  honest  friend, 

Will  you  take  eggs  for  money  ? 
Mam.  No,  my  lord,  I'll  fight. 
Leo.  You  will  ?  why,  happy  man  be  his  dole  ! 

Winters  Tale,  i.  2. 

Happy  man  be  his  dole  that  misses  her. 

Grim  the  Collier  of  Croydon. 

16  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

The  trial  thereof  we  will  lay  a  water ^ 
Til  we  trye  more.     For  trying  of  which  mater, 
Declare  all  commodities  ye  can  devise, 
That  by  those  two  weddings  to  you  can  rise. 



WILL,    (quoth    he),  in    both    these    cases 

streight  show 
What  things,  (as  I  thinke),  to  me  by  them 

will  grow. 

And  where  my  love  began,  there  begin  will  I 
With  this  maide,  the  peece  peereles  in  mine  eie, 
Whom  I  so  favour,  and  she  so  favoureth  me, 
That  halfe  a  death  to  us  tis  asunder  to  be. 
Affection  each  to  other  doth  us  so  move, 
That  welny  without  food  we  could  live  by  love  ; 
For  be  I  right  sad  or  right  sicke  from  her  sight, 
Her  presence  absenteth  all  maladies  quight ; 
Which  sheweth  that  the  great  ground  in  manage, 

19  Lay  a  water. 

If  he  had  broke  his  arme.  ....  either  Apollo  must  have  played 
Bonesetter,  or  every  occupation  beene  laide  a  water.— GOSSON'S 
Schoole  of  Abuse,  1579. 


Standeth  upon  liking  the  parties  personage. 

And  then  of  old  proverbs,  in  opening  the  pack, 

One  shew'th  me  openly,  in  love  is  no  lack  ; 

No  lack  of  liking,  but  lack  of  living. 

Nay  lack  in  love,  (quoth  I),  may  breed  its  chieving. 

Well  as  to  that,  (said  he),  harke  this  one  thing, 

What  time  I  lack  not  her,  I  lack  nothing. 

But  though  we  have  nought,  nor  nought  we  can  get, 

God  never  send'th  mouth  but  he  sendeth  meat : 

And  a  hard  beginning  makth  a  good  ending : 

In  space  comth  grace  and  this  further  amending, 

Seldome  comth  the  better™  and  like  will  to  like : l 

God  send'th  cold  after  clothes  ; 2  and  this  I  pike, 

She,  by  lack  of  substance,  seeming  but  a  sparke, 

Steinth  yet  the  stoutest :  for  a  legge  of  a  larke 

20  Seldome  comth  the  better. 

This  change  is  like  to  the  rest  of  worldy  chaunges,  that  is,  from 
the  better  to  the  worse  :  For  as  the  Proverb  sayth  :  Seldome 
corns  the  better. — English  Courtier  and  Coimtry  Gentleman, 

1  Like  'will  to  like. 

—  like  to  like,  ye  ken — it's  a  proverb  never  fails ;  and  ye  are 
baith  a  pair  o'  the  deevil's  peats,!  trow — hard  to  ken  whilk  deserves 
the  hottest  corner  o'  his  ingleside. — Heart  of  Midlothian. 

2  God  send'th  cold  after  clothes. 

"  Dieu  donne  le  froid  selon  la  robbe,"  is  the  French  form  of 
this  proverb,  found  in  Les  Premices,  1594,  by  HENRY  ESTIENNE. 


i8  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Is  better  than  is  the  bodie  of  a  kight ; 3 

And  home  is  homely,  though  it  be  poore  in  sight. 

These  proverbs  for  this  part  shew  such  a  flourish, 

And  then  this  partie  doth  delight  to  nourish ; 

That  much  is  my  bow  bent  to  shoot  at  these  markes, 

And  kill  feare  ;  when  the  skiefalthwe  shall  have  Larkes* 

All  perils  that  fall  may,  who  feareth  they  fall  shall, 

Shall  so  feare  all  things  that  he  shall  let  fall  all ; 

And  be  more  fray  d  then  hurt,  if  the  things  be  done  ; 

Feare  may  force  a  man  to  cast  beyond  the  mooned 

Who  hopeth  in  Gods  helpe,  his  helpe  cannot  start, 

Nothing  is  impossible  to  a  willing  hart. 

And  will  may  winne  my  hart  herein  to  consent 

3  A  legge  of  a  larke,  &C. 

Gyrtrude.  I  would  not  change  husbands  with  my  sister ;  I 
"  The  legge  of  a  larke  is  better  than  the  body  of  a  kite." 

Mistress  Touchstone.  Know  that ;  but — 

Gyrtrude.  What,  sweet  mother,  what  ? 

Mistress  Touchstone.  It's  but  ill  food  when  nothing's  left  bu 
the  claw. — Eastward  Hoe,  by  CHAPMAN,  MARSTON,  and  BEIS 
JONSON,  1605. 

4  When  the  skie  faith  we  shall  have  Larkes. 

Si  les  nues  tomboyent  esperoyt  prendre  les  alouettes. — RABE 
LAIS,  Gargantua. 

5  "To  cast  beyond  the  moon"  is  a  proverbial  phrase, in  frequen 
use  by  the  old  writers  to  signify  attempting  impossibilities. 

But  oh,  I  talk  of  things  impossible 
And  cast  beyond  the  moon. 

A  Woman  K UP  d  with  Kindness ,  1607. 


To  take  all  things  as  it  comth,  and  be  content. 
And  here  is,  (quoth  he),  in  marying  of  this  mayde, 
For  courage  and  commoditie  all  myne  ayde. 
Well  sayd,  (quoth  I),  but  a  while  keepe  me  in  quench, 
All  this  case,  as  touching  this  poore  young  wench. 
And  now  declare  your  whole  consideration, 
What  maner  thinges  draw  your  imagination, 
Toward  your  wedding  of  this  widow  rich  and  olde  ? 
That  shall  ye,  (quoth  he),  out  of  hand  have  told. 


HIS  Widow  being  foule  and  of  favour  ill, 
In  good  behaviour  can  very  good  skill : 
Pleasantly  spoken,  and  a  very  good  wit ; 
And  at  her  table  when  we  together  sit, 
I  am  well  served  ;  we  fare  of  the  best. 
The  meate  good  and  holsome  and  holsomely  drest : 
Sweet  and  soft  lodging,  and  thereof  great  shift  ; 
This  felt  and  seene  with  all  implementes  of  thrift, 
Of  plate  and  money,  such  cupboordes  and  coffers, 
And  that  without  penie  I  may  win  these  proffers. 
Than  covetyse  bearing  Venus  bargayne  backe, 
Pray  sing  this  bargayne  sayth,  better  leave  then  lacke* 

20  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

And  greedines  to  draw  desire  to  her  lore, 

Saith,  that  the  wise  man  sayth,  store  is  no  sore. 

Who  hath  many  Pease  may  put  the  mo  in  the  pot ; 

Of  two  Us  chose  the  least?  while  choise  lyeth  in  lot. 

Since  lacke  is  an  ill,  as  ill  as  man  may  have ; 

To  provide  for  the  worst,  while  the  best  it  selfe  save ; 

Resty  welth  wilth  me  7  this  widow  to  winne, 

To  let  the  world  wagge?  and  take  mine  ease  in  myne 

He  must  needes  swim  that  is  hold  tip  by  the  chinne  ; 10 

6  Of  two  Us  chose  the  least. 

Of  harmes  two  the  lesse  is  for  to  cheese. 

CHAUCER,  Troilus  and  Cressida. 

7  Resty  welth  wilth  me,  i.  e.,  rusty  wealth  compels  me,  &c. 
Reastie  or  rusty,  in  the  sense  of  rancid,  is  generally  applied  by 
the  old  writers  to  provisions. 

From  rusty  bacon,  and  ill  rested  eeles, 

And  from  a  madding  wit  that  runnes  on  wheels. 

Witfs  Recreations,  1634. 

8  Let  the  world  wagge. 

An  exclamation  almost  identical  with  this  occurs  in  the  old 
morality,  The  iiii.  Elements,  1510  ;  and  again  more  humorously 
in  Shakespeare's  Taming  of  the  Shrew. 

Sly.  Y'are  a  baggage  ;  the  Slies  are  no  rogues  ;  Look  in  the 
chronicles,  we  came  in  with  Richard  Conqueror.  Therefore, 
paucas  pallabris  ;  let  the  world  slide. 

9  Mine  ease  in  myne  Inne. 

Falstaff.  Shall  I  not  take  mine  ease  in  mine  inn,  but  I  shall 
have  my  pocket  picked? — i  Henry  IV.  iii.  2. 

10  He  must  needes  swim  that  is  hold  up  by  the  chinne. 

In  S co gin's  Jests,  1565. 


He  laugth  that  wintk.11    And  this  threed  finer  to  spinne, 

Mayster  promotion  sayth,  make  this  substance  sure  ; 

If  riches  bring  ones  portly  countenance  in  ure,12 

Then  shalt  thou  rule  the  rost 13  all  round  about ; 

And  better  to  rule  than  to  be  ruled  by  the  rout. 

It  is  sayd,  be  it  better  be  it  wurse, 

Doe  you  after  him  that  beareth  the  purse. 

Thus  be  I  by  this,  once  le  senior  de  graunde, 

Many  that  command  me,  I  shall  commaunde. 

And  also  I  shall  to  revenge  former  hurtes, 

Hold  their  noses  to  grinstone,  and  sit  on  their  skurtes, 

That  erst  sate  on  myne.     And  riches  may  make 

Frendes  many  wayes.     Thus  better  to  give  then  to  take. 

And  to  make  carnall  appetite  content, 

11  He  laugth  that  wintk. 

The  reverse  side  of  this  proverb  is  the  more  common. 
Give  losers  leave  to  talk. 

TAYLOR'S  Arrant  Thiefe,  1622. 

I,  I,  wele  give  loosers  leave  to  talke  :  it  is  no  matter  what  sic 
probo  and  his  pennilesse  companions  prate,  whilst  we  have  the 
gold  in  our  coffers. — N  ASH'S  Pierce  Penilesse,  1592. 

12  Ure,  an  Anglo-Norman  word  equivalent  to  the  French  heure, 
of  which  word  it  is  a  corruption.    This  is  one  of  the  latest  instances 
of  the  application  of  the  word,  which  was  current  in  the  time  of 

13  Rule  the  rost. 

But  at  the  pleasure  of  me 
That  ruleth  the  roste  alone. 

SKELTON'S  Colyn  Cloute,  circa  1518. 

22  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Reason  laboreth  will,  to  win  wil's  consent, 
To  take  lacke  of  beauty  but  as  an  eie  sore™ 
The  fayre  and  the  foule  by  darke  are  like  store. 
When  all  candles  bee  out  all  cattes  be  gray  ; 
All  things  are  then  of  one  colour,  as  who  say : 
And  this  proverbe  sayth,  for  quenching  hot  desire, 
Foule  water  as  sone  as  fayre  will  quench  hot  fire. 
Where  giftes  be  given  freely,  East,  West,  North  or 


No  man  oitght  to  looke  a  given  horse  in  the  mouth.16 
And  though  her  mouth  be  foule,  shee  hath  a  faire  taile  ; 
I  conster  this  text,  as  is  most  my  availe. 
In  want  of  wThite  teeth  and  yellow  hayres  to  behold, 
Shee  flourisheth  in  white  silver  and  yellow  gold. 
What  though  she  be  toothles  and  bald  as  a  coote  ? 
Her  substance  is  shoote  ankre  whereat  I  shoote. 

14  An  eie  sore. 

Quod  the  Barbour,  but  a  lytell  eye  sore. 

Mery  Jests  of  the  Wyddow  Edyth,  1525. 

15  No  man  ought  to  looke  a  given  horse  in  the  mouth. 

This  proverb  occurs  in  Vulgaria  StamMgt9prmted  by  Wynkyn 
de  Worde  and  Peter  Trevaris,  circa  1510. 

"  A  gyven  hors  may  not  be  loked  in  the  tethe." 

Archbishop  Trench  (Proverbs  and  their  Lessons]  observes  of 
this  saying  : — 

"  I  will  not  pretend  to  say  how  old  it  may  be,  but  it  is  certainly 
as  old  as  Jerome,  a  Latin  father  of  the  fourth  century  ;  who  when 
some  found  fault  with  certain  writings  of  his,  replies  with  a  tart- 


Take  a  payne  for  a  pleasure  all  wise  men  can  ; 
What,  hungry  dogges  will  eate  durty  puddinges,  man  ? lf) 
And  here  I  conclude,  (quoth  he,)  all  that  I  know, 
By  this  old  widow,  what  good  to  me  may  grow. 


|E  have,  (quoth  I),  in  these  conclusions  found 
Sundry  things  that  very  saverly  sound ; 
And   both    these    long    cases,    being   well 

In  one  short  question  we  may  well  inclewde ; 

Which  is,  whether  best  or  woorst  be  to  be  ledde         ^ 

With  riches,  without  love  or  beauty,  to  wedde  ; 

Or  with  beauty  without  riches  for  love. 

This  question,  (quoth  he),  inquir'th  all  that  I  move. 

It  doth  so,  (said  I),  and  is  neerly  couched, 

But  th'  answere  will  not  so  briefly  be  touched  ; 

ness  which  he  could  occasionally  exhibit,  that  they  were  voluntary 
on  his  part,  free-will  offerings,  and  with  this  quoted  the  proverb, 
that  it  did  not  behove  to  look  a  gift  horse  in  the  moicth.  And 
before  it  comes  to  us,  we  meet  it  once  more  in  one  of  the  rhymed 
Latin  verses,  which  were  such  great  favourites  in  the  middle  ages. 
Si  quis  dat  mannos,  ne  quaere  in  dentibus  annos. 

16  Hungry  dogges •,  &>c. 

There  is  another  proverb  which  declares  that  a  hungry  man 
will  eat  anything,  except  Suffolk  cheese. 

24  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

<And  your  selfe,  to  length  it,  taketh  (direct  trade,17 
For  all  reasons  that  I  have  yet  made, 
Yee  seeme  more  to  seeke  reasons  how  to  contend, 
Than  to  the  counsell  of  mine  to  condiscend. 
And  to  be  playne,  as  I  must  with  my  frend, 
I  perfectly  feele  even  at  my  fingers  end ; 
So  hard  is  your  hand  set  on  your  halfpeny™ 
That  my  reasoning  your  reason  setteth  naught  by. 
But  reason  for  reason,  yee  so  stifly  lay, 
By  proverbe  for  proverbe,  that  with  you  doe  way, 
That  reason  onely  shall  herein  nought  move  you 
To  heare  more  then  speake,  wherefore  I  will  prove  you 
With  reason  assisted  by  experience, 
Which  myself  saw,  not  long  since  nor  farre  hence, 
In  a  matter  so  like  this  fashiond  in  frame, 
That  none  can  be  liker,  it  seemeth  even  the  same. 
And  in  the  same,  as  your  selfe  shall  espy, 
Each  sentence  soothed  with  a  proverbe  welny. 
And  at  ende  of  the  same,  yee  shall  cleerly  see, 

17  Trade,  i.e.  a  way,  a  means. 

Long  did  I  serve  this  lady, 
Long  was  my  travel,  long  my  trade  to  win  her. 

MASSINGER,  Very  Woman. 

18  So  hard  is  your  hand  set  on  your  halfpeny. 

Ri.  Dromio,  looke  heere,  now  is  my  hand  on  my  half-peny. 
Half.  Thou  liest,  thou  hast  not  a  farthing  to  lay  thy  hands  on. 
Mother  Bombie,  by  JOHN  LYLY,  1594, 


How  this  short  question  shortly  answered  may  bee. 

Ye  may,  (quoth  he),  now  yee  shoote  nie  the  pricke  j1 

Practise  in  all,  above  all  toucheth  the  quicke. 

Proofe  upon  practise,  must  take  hold  more  sure 

Then  any  reasoning  by  gesse  can  procure. 

If  ye  bring  practise  in  place,  without  fabling, 

I  will  banish  both  hast  and  busie  babling. 

And  yet  that  promise  to  performe  is  mickell, 

For  in  this  case  my  tong  must  oft  tickell. 

Ye  know  well  it  is,  as  telth  us  this  old  tale, 

Meete  that  a  man  be  at  his  owne  brydale.20 

If  he  wive  well,  (quoth  I),  meete  and  good  it  were ; 

Or  els  as  good  for  him  another  were  there. 

But  for  this  your  bridale,  I  meane  not  in  it, 

That  silence  shall  suspend  your  speech  every  whit. 

But  in  these  manages  which  ye  here  meve, 

Since  this  tale  containeth  the  counsell  I  can  geve, 

I  would  see  your  eares  attend  with  your  tong ; 

For  advyse  in  both  these  weddinges  old  and  yong. 

19  Pricke^  i.e.  the  centre  of  a  target.     The  word  was  used  to 
signify  any  particular  spot ;    in  the  old  copies  of  Euclid  it  is 
printed  where  we  now  read  "  point." 

20  Brydale,  a  wedding  festivity. 

There  were  bride-ales,  church-ales,  clerk- ales,  give-ales,  lamb- 
ales,  leet-ales,  Midsummer-ales,  Scot-ales,  Whitsun-ales,  and 
several  more. — BRAND'S  Popular  Antiquities. 

26  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

In  which  hearing,  tyme  scene  when  and  what  to  talk 
When  your  tong  tickleth,  at  will  let  it  walke. 
And  in  these  brydales,  to  the  reasons  of  ours, 
Marke  mine  experience  in  this  case  of  yours. 


^ITHIN   few  yeares  past,  from  London  no 

far  way, 
Where  I  and  my  wife  with  our  poore  hous- 

hold  lay : 

Two  yong  men  were  abyding,  whom  to  discrive, 
Were  I  in  portraying  persons  dead  or  alive, 
As  cunning  and  as  quicke,  to  touch  then  at  full, 
As  in  that  feat  I  am  ignorant  and  dull ; 
Never  could  I  paynt  their  pictures  to  allow, 
More  lively  than  to  paynt  the  picture  of  you. 
And  as  your  three  persons  shew  one  similitude, 
So  shew  you  three  one  in  all  things  to  be  viewd. 
Lykewise  a  widow  and  a  mayde  there  did  dwell ; 
Alyke,  lyke  the  widow  and  mayde  ye  of  tell. 
The  frendes  of  them  foure  in  every  degree, 
Standing  in  state  as  the  frendes  of  you  three. 
Those  two  men  each  other  so  hasted  or  taried, 
That  those  two  women  on  one  day  they  maryed. 


Into  two  houses,  which  next  my  house  did  stand, 
The  one  on  the  right,  the  other  on  the  left  hand, 
Both  Bridegromes  bad  mee  ;  I  could  doe  none  other, 
But  dyne  with  the  tone,  and  suppe  with  the  tother. 
He  that  wedded  this  Widow  rich  and  olde, 
And  also  she  favoured  me  so,  that  they  would 
Make  me  dyne  or  suppe  once  or  twyce  in  a  weeke. 
This  poore  young  man  and  his  make,1  being  to  seeke 
As  oft  where  they  might  eate  or  drinke,  I  them  bad, 
Were  I  at  home,  to  such  pittaunce  as  I  had. 
Which  common  conference  such  confidence  wrought 
In  them  to  me  that  deed,  woord,  ne  welny  thought 
Chaunced  among  them,  what  ever  it  were, 
But  one  of  the  foure  brought  it  to  mine  eare. 
Whereby  betweene  these  twaine  and  their  two  wives, 
Both  for  wealth  and  woe,  I  knew  all  their  four  lives. 
And  since  the  matter  is  much  intricate, 
Betweene  side  and  side,  I  shall  here  separate 
All  matters  on  both  sides,  and  then  sequestrate 
Th'  one  side,  while  th'  other  be  full  reherst  in  rate, 

1  His  make,  i.  e.  his  wife.  * 

All  your  parishoners, 
As  well  your  laicks,  as  your  quiristers, 
Had  need  to  keep  to  their  warm  feather-beds, 
If  they  be  sped  of  loves  ;  this  is  no  season 
To  seek  new  makes  in. 

BEN  JONSON,  Tale  of  a  Tub^  i.  i. 

28  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

As  for  your  understanding  may  best  stand  ; 
And  this  young  poore  couple  shall  come  first  in  hand. 
Who,  the  day  of  wedding  and  after  a  while, 
Could  not  looke  each  on  other  but  they  must  smile, 
As  a  whelpe  for  wantonnes  in  and  out  whippes, 
So  plaide  these  twaine,  as  mery  as  three  chippes. 
Yea,  there  was  God,  (quoth  he),  when  all  is  doone. 
Abyde,  (quoth  I),  it  was  yet  but  hony  moone  ; 
The  blacke  oxe  had  not  trade  on  his  nor  her  foote  ;  * 
But  ere  this  braunch  of  blisse  could  reach  any  roote, 
The  flowers  so  faded  that  in  fifteene  weekes, 
A  man  might  espye  the  change  in  their  cheekes. 
Both  of  this  poore  wretch  and  his  wife  this  poore 


Their  faces  tolde  toies  that  Totnam  was  turnd French? 
And  all  their  light  laughing  turnd  and  translated 

2  The  blacke  oxe,  &c. 

This  proverb,  meaning  to  fall  into  decrepitude  or  experience 
misfortune,  occurs  again  in  Lyly's  Sapho  and  Phao,  1584: 

Venus  waxeth  old :  and  then  she  was  a  pretie  wench,  when  Juno 
was  a  young  wife  ;  now  crowes  foote  is  on  her  eye,  and  the  black 
oxe  hath  trod  on  her  foot. 

3  Totnam  was  turnd  French. 

A  phrase  implying  a  great  alteration.  It  takes  its  origin  from 
the  migration  of  a  number  of  French  workmen  to  this  locality 
early  in  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.  Their  competition  provoked 
the  jealousy  of  English  mechanics,  and  resulted  in  disturbances 
in  the  streets  of  London  on  May-day,  1517. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  29 

Into  sad  sighing ;  all  mirth  was  amated.4 
And  one  morning  timely  he  tooke  in  hand 
To  make  to  my  house  a  sleeveless  errand? 
Hauking  upon  me,  his  minde  herein  to  breake, 
Which  I  would  not  see  till  he  began  to  speake, 
Praying  me  to  heare  him  ;  and  I  sayd,  I  would. 
Wherewith  this  that  followeth  forthwith  he  tould. 

4  Amated)  dismayed. 

That  I  amazed  and  amated  am, 

To  see  Great  Brittaine  turn'd  to  Amsterdam. 

TAYLOR'S  Mad  Fashions,  1642. 

5  A  sleeveless  errand. 

The  origin  of  the  word  sleeveless,  in  the  sense  of  unprofitable, 
has  defied  the  most  careful  philological  research.  I  would  sug- 
gest that  the  phrase  originated  in  the  mediaeval  custom  of  favoured 
knights  wearing  the  sleeve  of  their  mistress  as  a  mark  of 
favour  ;  such  aspirants  as  failed  to  obtain  the  badge  being  dubbed 
as  sleeveless.  Spenser  writes — "  Sir  Launcelot  wore  the  sleive  of 
the  faire  maide  of  Asteloth  in  a  tourney,  whereat  queene  Guenever 
was  much  displeased."  The  word  sleeveless  is  frequently  found 
allied  to  other  substantives.  Bishop  Hall  speaks  of  the  "sleeveless 
tale  of  transubstantiation,"  and  Milton  writes  of  a  "  sleeveless 
reason."  Chaucer  uses  it  in  the  "Testament  of  Love,"  and  three 
centuries  afterwards  its  place  in  popular  estimation  appears  from 
a  passage  in  Addison's  "  Spectator:" — "  My  landlady  quarrelled 
with  him  for  sending  every  one  of  her  children  on  a  sleeveless 
errand,  as  she  calls  it." 

30  THE    PROVERBS    OF 



AM  now  driven,  (quoth  he),  for  ease  of  my 

To  you,  to  utter  part  of  mine  inward  smart. 
And  the  matter  concerneth  my  wife  and  mee, 
Whose  fathers  and  mothers  long  since  dead  bee, 
But  uncles,  with  auntes  and  cosins  have  wee, 
Divers  rich  on  both  sides,  so  that  we  did  see 
If  we  had  wedded,  each,  where  each  kindred  would, 
Neither  of  us  had  lackt  either  silver  or  gold. 
But  never  could  suite  on  either  side  obtaine 
One  peny  to  the  one  wedding  of  us  twaine. 
And  since  our  one  marying,  or  marring,  day, 
Where  any  of  them  see  us  they  shrinke  away, 
Solemnly  swearing  such  as  may  give  ought, 
Whyle  they  and  we  live,  of  them  we  get  right  nought. 
Nor  nought  have  we,  nor  no  way  ought  can  we  get, 
Saving  by  borrowing  til  we  be  in  det, 
So  far  that  no  man  any  more  will  us  lend, 
Whereby  for  lacke  we  both  be  at  our  wittes  end. 
Whereof  no  wonder  since  the  end  of  our  good, 


And  beginning  of  our  charge  together  stood. 

But  wit  is  never  good  till  it  be  bought? 

Howbeit  when  bought  wits  to  best  price  be  brought, 

Yet  is  one  good  fore-wit  woorth  two  after  wits. 

This  payeth  me  home  loe  and  ful  moe  folly  hits, 

For  had  I  lookt  afore  with  indifferent  eye, 

Though  hast  had  made  me  thrust  never  so  dry, 

Yet  to  drowne  this  drought  this  must  I  needes  thinke, 

As  I  would  needes  brewe  so  must  I  needes  drinke:1 

The  drinke  of  my  bride  cup  I  should  have  forborne, 

Till  temperance  had  tempred  the  tast  beforne. 

I  see  now  and  shall  see  while  I  am  alive, 

Who  wedtli  ere  he  be  wise  shall  die  ere  he  thrive. 

I  sing  now  in  this  factfactits  est  repente, 

Now  myne  eyes  be  open  I  doe  repent  me, 

He  that  will  sell  lawne  before  he  can  fold  it. 

He  shall  repent  him  before  he  have  sold  it. 

6  Wit  is  never  good,  &>c. 

Stationers  could  not  live,  if  men  did  not  beleeve  the  old 
saying,  that  Wit  bought  is  better  then  Wit  taught. — Conceits, 
Clinches,  Flashes  and  Whimsies,  1639. 

7  As  I  would  needes  brewe,  so  must  I  needes  drinke. 

One  of  a  whole  family  of  proverbs  pointing  out  the  connec- 
tion between  the  cause  and  the  result. 

If  you  have  browen  wel,  you  shal  drinke  the  better. 

WODROEPHE'S  Spared  Hour es  of  a  Souldier,  1623. 

32  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Some  bargains  deare  bought,  good  cheape*  would  be 

sold ; 

No  man  loveth  his  fetters,  be  they  made  of  gold? 
Were  I  loose  from  the  lovely  linkes  of  my  chaine, 
I  would  not  daunce  in  such  faire  fetters  againe, 
In  house  to  kepe  houshold,  when  fo Ikes  will  needes  wed, 
Moe  thinges  belong  then  four e  bare  legges  in  a  bed. 10 
I  reckened  my  wedding  a  suger  sweete  spice, 
But  reckeners  without  their  host  must  recken  twice.11 
And  although  it  were  sweet  for  a  weeke  or  twaine, 
Sweete  meate  will  have  sowre  sawce,  I  see  now  plaine. 
Continuall  penury,  which  I  must  take, 

8  Good  cheape. 

Cheap  iz  market ;  good  cheap  r=  bon  marchd. 
He  buys  other  men's  cunning  good  cheap  in  London,  and  sels 
it  deare  in  the  country. — DECKER'S  Belman's  Night-walks. 

9  No  man  loves  his  fetters,  &°c. 

Who  would  weare  fetters  though  they  were  all  of  gold  ? 
Or  to  be  sicke,  though  his  faint  browes, 
For  wearing  Night-cap,  wore  a  Crown. 

Famous  History  of  Sir  Thomas  Wyatt, 
1607,  by  WEBSTER. 

10  Foure  bare  legges  in  a  bed. 

Furthermore  it  shall  be  lawful  for  him  that  marries  without 
money  to  find  four  bare  legs  in  a  bed  :  and  he  that  is  too  pro- 
digal in  spending,  shall  die  a  beggar  by  the  statute. — Pennilesse 
Parliament  of  Threadbare  Poets,  1608. 

11  Reckeners  without  their  host  must  recken  twice. 

11  Comptoit  sans  son  hoste." 

RABELAIS,  Gargantua. 

JOHN   HEY  WOOD.  33 

Telth  me,  better  eie  out  then  alway  ake. 

Boldly  and  blindly  I  ventred  on  this, 

How  be  it,  who  so  bold  as  blinde  Bayard  is  f1- 

And  herein  to  blame  any  man,  then  should  I  rave, 

For  I  did  it  my  selfe  :  and  selfe  doe,  selfe  have.™ 

But  a  day  after  thefaire,  commeth  this  remorse 

For  releife  ;  for  though  it  be  a  good  horse 

That  never  stumbleth^  what  praise  can  that  avouch 

To  jades  that  breake  their  neckes  at  first  trip  or  touch  ? 

And  before  this  my  first  foile  or  breakneck  fall, 

Subtilly  like  a  sheepe,  though[t]  I,  I  shall 

Cut  my  cote  after  my  cloth 15  when  I  have  her. 

12  Who  so  bold  as  blinde  Bayard  is  ? 

This  proverb  is  applied  where  persons  act  without  consider- 
ation or  reflection.  Its  antiquity  is  apparent  from  its  occurring  in 
The  Vision  of  Piers  the  Ploughman ,  1362,  and  in  CHAUCER'S 
Canterbury  Tales.  The  word  "  bayard"  originally  meant  a  grey 
horse,  a  meaning  which  was  afterwards  extended  to  denote  a 
horse  in  general;  and  Skelton  mentions  a  description  of  horse-loaf 
called  bayard's  bun.  It  will  be  remembered  that  Rinaldo's  horse 
in  Ariosto's  great  work  is  called  Baiardo. 

13  Selfe  doe,  selfe  have. 

Yea,  said  shee,  selfe  do,  selfe  have  :  many  a  man  thinketh  to 
doe  another  man  a  shrewd  turne  and  it  turneth  oftimes  to  his 
owne  selfe. — Mery  Tales  of  the  Mad  Men  of  Gotham,  circa  1450. 

14  A  good  horse  that  never  stumbleth, 

A  good  horse  that  trippeth  not  once  in  a  journey.  —  Three 
Proper  and  Wittie  Familiar  Letters,  1580. 

15  Cut  my  cote  after  my  cloth. 

A  relic  of  the  Sumptuary  Laws,  one  of  the  earliest  allusions  to 


34  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

But  now  I  can  smell,  nothing  hath  no  saver. 

I  am  taught  to  know,  in  more  hast  then  good  speede, 

How  Judicare  came  into  the  Creede. 

My  carefull  wife  in  one  corner  weepeth  in  care, 

And  I  in  an  other ;  the  purse  is  threed-bare. 

This  corner  of  our  care,  (quoth  he),  I  you  tell, 

To  crave  therein  your  comfortable  counsell. 


AM  sory  (quoth  I),  of  your  poverty  ; 

And  more  sory,  that  I  cannot  succour  yee. 

If  yee  sturre  your  neede  myne  almes  to 

Then  of  troth  yee  beg  at  a  wrong  mans  dur. 
I  come  to  begge  nothing  of  you,  (quoth  hee), 
Save  your  advice,  which  may  my  best  way  bee  ; 

which  occurs  1 530,  in  the  interlude  of  Godly  Queene  Hestor,  where 
Pride  complains  that  no  one  can  wear  gay  apparel  since  Raman 
has  bought  up  all  the  cloth. 

You,  with  your  fraternitie,  in  these  latter  dayes,  cannot  be  con- 
tent to  shape  your  Coate  according  to  your  Cloth. — A  Health  tc 
the  Gentlemanly  Profession  of  Servingmen,  1598. 


How  to  win  present  salve  for  this  present  sore. 
I  am  like  th'  ill  surgeon,  (sayd  I),  without  store 
Of  good  playsters.     Howbeit  such  as  they  are, 
Yee  shall  have  the  best  I  have.     But  first  declare 
Where  yours  and  your  wives  rich  kinsfolkes  do  dwell. 
Envyronned   about   us,    (quoth  hee),  which  sheweth 


The  neer  to  the  church,  the  further  from  God.^ 
Most  part  of  them  dwell  within  a  thousand  rod  ; 
And  yet  shall  wee  catch  a  hare  with  a  taberf1 
As  soone  as  catch  ought  of  them,  and  rather. 
Ye  play  coleprophet,  (quoth  I),  who  tak'th  in  hand, 
To  know  his  answere  before  he  do  his  errand. 
What  should  I  to  them,  (quoth  hee),  fling  or  flitte  ? 
A  n  unbidden  guest  knoweth  not  where  to  sit. 
[  am  cast  at  cartes  arse ;  some  folke  in  lacke 

16  The  neer  to  the  church,  &c. 

Qui  est  pres  da  Feglise  est  souvent  loin  de  Dieu. — Les  Pro- 
verbes  Communs,  circa  1 500. 

17  Catch  a  hare  with  a  taber. 

One  day  after  the  set  of  this  comet  men  shall  catch  hares  with 
tabers.  .  .  .  Such  as  are  inclined  to  the  dropsy  may  be  cured  if 
the  phisitions  know  how  :  and  if  there  be  no  great  store  of 

empests,  two  halfe  penny  loves  shall  be  solde  for  a  penny  in 
White- Chappell.  Chaucer's  bookes  shall  this  yeere  prove  more 
witty  thin  ever  they  were. — Fearefull  and  Lamentable  Effects  of 
Two  dangerous  Comets.  By  SlMON  SMEL-KNAVE,  Stu'dient  in 

iood  Felowshipxi59i. 

36  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Cannot   prease  :    a   broken   sleeve  holdeth   th  arme 

backe  ; 18 

And  shame  holdeth  me  backe,  being  thus  forsaken. 
Tush  man,  (quoth  I),  shame  is  as  it  is  taken. 
And  shame  take  him  that  shame  thinketh  yee  have 


Unminded,  unmoned  ;  goe  make  your  mone 
Till  meate  fall  in  your  mouth  ;  will  yee  lye  in  bed, 
Or  sit  still  ?  nay,  hee  that  gap  eth  till  hee  bee  fed 
May  fortune  to  fast  and  famish  for  hanger. 
Set  forward,  yee  shall  never  labour  yonger. 
Well,  (quoth  hee),  if  I  shall  needes  this  viage  make 
With  as  good  will  as  a  Beare  goth  to  the  stake, 
I  will  strayght  waie  anker,  and  hoise  up  sayle, 
And  thitherward  hie  me  in  hast  like  a  snayle, 
And  home  againe  hitherward  quicke  as  a  Bee ; 
Now  for  good  lucke,  cast  an  old  shooe  after  mee. lp 

18  A  broken  sleeve  holdeth  t ft  arme  backe. 

It  is  a  terme  with  John  and  Jacke, 
Broken  sleeve  draweth  arme  a  backe. 

Par  la  ment  of  Byrdes,  1550. 
Johphiel.     Reach  forth  your  hand. 
Meere  Foole.     O  sir,  a  broken  sleeve 
Keepes  the  arm  back,  as  tis  the  proverbe. 

The  Fortunate  Isles,  1624,  by  BEN  JONSON. 

19  Cast  an  old  shooe  after  mee. 

Captain,  your  shoes  are  old,  pray  put  'em  off, 
And  let  one  fling  'em  after  us. 
BEAUMONT  AND  FLETCHER,  Honest  Man's  Fortune. 

JOHN   HEY  WOOD.  37 

And  first  to  myne  uncle,  brother  to  my  father, 

By  suite,  I  will  assay  to  winne  some  faver : 

Who  brought  me  up,  and  till  my  wedding  was  don, 

Loved  me  not  as  his  nephew,  but  as  his  son. 

And  his  heire  had  I  bin,  had  not  this  chaunced, 

Of  lands  and  goods  which  should  me  much  avaunced. 

Trudge,  (quoth  I),  to  him,  and  on  your  maribones 

Crouch  to  the  ground,  and  not  so  oft  as  ones 

Speake  any  one  woord  him  to  contrary. 

I  can  not  tell  that,  (quoth  he),  by  saint  Mary ; 

One  ill  woord  axeth  another,  as  folkes  speake. 

Well,  (quoth  I),  better  is  to  bow  then  breake  ;20 

^c  o  ^ 
//  hurteth  not  the  toung  to  giite  faire  woordes  ;^ 

The  rough  net  is  not  the  best  catcher  of  burdes. 
Since  ye  can  nought  winne,  if  ye  can  not  please, 

20  Better  is  to  bow  then  breake. 

Probably  the  earliest  example  of  the  use  of  this  proverb  is 
that  in  The  Morale  Proverbs  of  Cristyne  ;  originally  written  in 
French  about  the  year  1390  and  of  which  a  verse  translation 
by  Earl  Rivers  was  printed  by  Caxton  in  1478.  The  following 
is  the  form  in  which  it  is  found  in  the  latter  version  :  — 

Rather  to  bo  we  than  breke  is  profitable, 
Humylite  is  a  thing  commendable. 

1  //  hurteth  not  the  toung  to  geuefayre  woordes. 

Gertrude.  Come  away,  I  say ;  hunger  drops  out  at  his  nose. 
Goulding.  O,  madam,  faire  words  never  hurt  the  tongue. 
Eastward  Hoe,  1605,  by  JONSON,  CHAPMAN,  and  MARSTON. 

38  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Best  is  to  suffer  :  for  of  suffrance  comtk  ease" 
Cause  causeth,  (quoth  he) ;  and  as  cause  causeth  me, 
So  will  I  doo.     And  with  this  away  went  he. 
Yet  whether  his  wife  should  goe  with  him  or  no, 
He  sent  her  to  me  to  know  ere  he  would  goe. 
Whereto  I  sayde,  I  thought  best  he  went  alone ; 
And  you,  (quoth  I),  to  goe  streight  as  he  is  gone, 
Among  your  kinsfolke  likewise,  if  they  dwell  nye. 
Yes,  (quoth  she),  all  round  about  even  hereby. 
Namely,  an  aunt,  my  mother's  sister,  who  well, 
(Since  my  mother  died),  brought  me  up  from  the  shell ; 
And  much  would  have  geven    me,  had  my  wedding 


Upon  her  fansie,  as  it  grewe  upon  myne  owne. 
And  in  likewise  myne  uncle,  her  husband,  was 
A  father  to  me.     Well,  (quoth  I),  let  pas  : 
And  if  your  husbande  will  his  assent  graunt, 
Yf  Goe,  he  to  his  uncle,  and  you  to  your  aunt. 
Yes,  this  assent  he  graunteth  before,  (quoth  she)  ; 
For  he  ere  this  thought  this  the  best  way  to  be ; 
But  of  these  two  thinges  he  would  determine  none 
Without  aid.     For  two  heads  are  better  then  one. 
With  this  wee  departed,  shee  to  her  husband, 
And  I  to  dinner  to  them  on  th'  other  hand. 

2  Of  suffrance  comth  ease. 

He  give  a  proverbe — Sufferance  giveth  ease. 

MARSTON'S  What  you  Will,  1607. 

JOHN   HEY  WOOD.  39 


dinner  was  done  I  came  home  agayne 
To  attend  on  the  returne  of  these  twayne  ; 
And  ere  three  howres  to  ende  were  fully 

Home  came  she  first ;    welcome,  (quoth  I),  and  well 


Yea,  a  short  horse  is  soone  currid,  (quoth  shee) ; 
But  the  weaker  hath  the  woorse  we  all  may  see. 
And  after  our  last  parting,  my  husband  and  I 
Departed,  each  to  place  agreed  formerly. 
Myne  uncle  and  aunt  on  me  did  loure  and  glome, 
Both  bad  me  good  speed,  but  none  bad  me  welcome. 
Their  folkes  glomd  on  me  too,  by  which  it  appeareth, 
The  yong  cocke  croweth  as  he  the  old  heareth. 
At  dinner  they  were,  and  made,  (for  manners'  sake), 
A  kinswoman  of  ours  me  to  table  take  ; 
A  false  flattring  filth,  and  if  that  be  good, 
None  better  to  beare  two  faces  in  one  hood? 

3  To  beare  two  faces  in  one  hood. 

Alberto.  Not  play  two  parts  in  one?  away,  away,  'tis  common 
fashion.  Nay,  if  you  cannot  bear  two  subtle  fronts  under  one 
hood  ;  ideot,  goe  by,  goe  by  ;  off  this  world's  stage  !  O  times  im- 
puritie  ! — Antonio  and  Mellida,  1602. 

40  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

She  speaketh  as  shee  would  creepe  into  your  bosome. 
And  when  the  meale  mouth  hath  woon  the  bottome 
Of  your  stomacke,  then  will  the  pickthanke4  it  tell 
To  your  most  enimies  you  to  buy  and  sell. 
To  tell  tales  out  of  schoole,  that  is  her  great  lust. 
Looke  what  shee  knowth,  blab  it  wist  and  out  it  must? 
There  is  no  moe  such  titifyls  in  Englandes  ground, 
To  hold  with  the  hare  and  run  with  the  hound. 
Fyre  in  the  tone  hand  and  water  in  the  tother, 
The  makebate  beareth  betweene  brother  and  brother. 
She  can  winke  on  the  yew  and  werye  the  lam ; 
She  maketh  earnest  matters  of  every  flimflam  ; 
Shel'e  have  an  ore  in  every  man's  barge  ;6 
And  no  man  may  chat  ought  in  ought  of  her  charge. 
Coll  under  candlestick'1  shee  can  play  on  both  handes  ; 

4  Pickthanke  is  an  opprobrious  term  to  denote  a  person  who 
tries  to  place  people  under  small  obligations  by  performing 
trivial  services.      In  Henry  IV.,   Pt.    I.  iii.  2,  "  smiling   pick- 
thanks  and  base  news  mongers." 

5  Blab  it  wist  and  out  it  must. 

Labbe  hyt  whyste 
and  owt  yt  muste. 

MS.  Harleian,  circa  1490. 

6  Have  an  ore  in  every  maris  barge. 

Somewhat  earlier,  the  proverb  is  found  in  a  ballad  entitled 
"  Long  have  I  bene  a  singing  man,"  by  John  Redford,  circa  1 540. 

7  Coll  under  candlestick. 

There  was  a  Christmas  game  so  called.      The  meaning  of 
"  coll "  is  to  embrace,  to  kiss. 


Dissimulation  well  she  understandes. 

She  is  lost  with  an  apple  and  woon  with  a  mit;* 

Her  toung  is  no  edge-too le  but  yet  it  will  cut. 

But  little  titte  all  tayle  ;  I  have  heard  ere  this, 

As  high  as  two  horse  loves  ^  her  person  is. 

For  privy  nips  or  castes  overthwart10  the  shinnes, 

Hee  shall  leese  the  maistry  that  with  her  beginnes. 

Shee  is,  to  turne  love  to  hate,  or  joy  to  greefe, 

A  paterne  as  meete  as  a  rope  for  a  theefe. 

Her  promise  of  friendship  for  any  availe, 

Is  as  sure  to  hold  as  an  ele  by  the  tayle. 

Shee  is  nether  fish,  nor  flesh,  nor  good  red  herring.^ 

Shee  is  a  ringleader  there.     And  I  fearing 

8  Lost  with  an  apple  and  woon  with  a  nut. 

Exactly  similar  to  this  is  the  proverb  occurring  in  GASCOIGNE'S 
I    Ferdinando  : — 

Nor  woman  true,  but  even  as  stories  tell 
Wonne  with  an  egge  and  lost  againe  with  shell. 

9  As  high  as  two  horse  loves. 

It  was  formerly  not  unusual  to  feed  horses  on  loaves  of  bread, 
composed  of  wheat  and  beans.  These  loaves  became  jocularly 
a  standard  of  measurement. 

Her  stature  scant  three  horse  loaves  did  exceed. — HARRING- 
TON'S Ariosto. 

10  Overthwart. 

It  is  singular  that  the  word  "  overthwart,"  though  common 
with  his  contemporaries,  is  not  once  used  by  Shakespeare. 

11  Nether  fish,  nor  flesh,  nor  good  red  herring. 

I  have  discovered  no  earlier  instance  of  the  use  of  this  proverb, 
though  a  simpler  form  is  frequently  to  be  met  with,  as  : — 

42  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

She  would  spit  her  venim,  thought  it  not  evil 

To  set  up  a  candle  before  the  devill.1* 

I  clawd  her  by  the  backe  in  way  of  a  charme, 

To  do  me,  not  the  more  good,  but  the  lesse  harme ; 

Praying  her,  in  her  eare,  on  my  syde  to  houlde  ; 

Shee  thereto  swearing  by  her  false  fayth,  she  would. 

Streight  after  dinner  myne  aunt  had  no  choice, 

But  other  burst,  or  burst  out  in  Pilats  voice. 

Yee  huswife,  what  wind  blowth  ye  hyther  this  night  ? 

Yee  might  have  knockt  ere  ye  came  in,  leave  is  light. 

Better  unborne  then  untaught™  I  have  heard  say  ; 

But  ye  be  better  fed  then  taught  farre  away. 

Not  very  fat  fed,  sayd  this  flebergebet  ;14 

Prince  Henry.  An  otter,  sir  John  !   why  an  otter  ? 
Falstaff.  Why  ?  she  is  neither  fish  nor  flesh  ;  a  man  knows  not 
where  to  have  her. 

Later  the  proverb  occurs  in  DRYDEN,  Epilogue  to  the  Duke  of 
Guise  : — 

Damned  neuters  in  their  middle  way  of  steering, 
Are  neither  fish  nor  flesh  nor  good  red  herring. 

12  To  set  up  a  candle  before  the  devill. 

Roger.  Troth  Mistresse,  what  doe  I  looke  like  now  ? 

Bella/route.  Like  as  you  are  :  a  panderly,  sixpenny  rascall. 

Roger.  I  may  thanke  you  for  that  :  in  faith  I  looke  like  an  old 
Proverbe,  Hold  the  candle  before  the  devill.— DECKER'S  Honest 
W ,  1604. 

13  Better  unborne  then  untaught. 

Old  men  yn  proverbe  sayde  by  old  tyme, '  A  chyld  were  beter  to 
be  unbore,  Than  to  be  untaught/ — SYMON'S  Lessons  of  Wysedome 
for  all  Maner  Chyldryn,  circa  1450. 

14  Flebergebet. 

Fratteretto,  Fleberdigebet,  Hoberdidanas,  Torobatto,  were  four 


But  neede  hath  no  law;  need  maketh  her  hither  jet. 
She  comth,  neece  Ales,  (quoth  she),  for  that  is  her  name, 
More  for  neede  than  for  kyndnes,  peine  of  shame. 
Howbeit  she  cannot  lacke,  for  he  fyndeth  that  seekes ; 
Lovers  live  by  love  as  Larkes  live  by  leekes  ; 
Sayd  this  Ales,  much  more  than  halfe  in  mockage. 
Tush,  (quoth  myne  aunt),  these  lovers  in  dotage 
Thinke  the  ground  beare  them  not,  but  wed  of  corage 
They  must  in  all  hast ;  though  a  leafe  of  borage 
Might  buye  all  the  substance  that  they  can  sell. 
Well  aunt,  (quoth  Ales),  all  is  well  that  cndes  well. 
Yea,  Ales,  of  a  good  beginning  comth  a  good  end.15 
Not  so  good  to  borow,  as  be  able  to  lend. 
Nay  indeed  aunt,  (quoth  she),  it  is  sure  so  ; 
She  must  needes  graunt  she  hath  wrought  her  own  woe. 
She  thought,  Ales,  shee  had  seene  far  in  a  milstone^ 

devils  of  the  round  or  morice ;  these  four  had  forty  assistants 
under  them,  as  themselves  do  confesse. — HARSENET'S  Declara- 
tion of  Popish  Impostures. 

15  Of  a  good  beginning  comth  a  good  end. 

But  in  proverbe  I  have  herde  saie, 
That  who  that  well  his  warke  beginneth, 
The  rather  a  good  ende  he  winneth. 

GOWER,  Confessio  A  mantis. 

16  Seene  far  in  a  mi  1st  one. 

Another  illustration  of  the  early  use  of  this  proverbial  saying 
may  be  culled  from  LYLY'S  Euphues  and  his  England. 

Then  Fidus,  your  eies  are  so  sharp  that  you  cannot  onely 
looke  through  a  milstone,  but  cleane  through  the  minde,  and  so 
cunning  that  you  can  levell  at  the  dispositions  of  women  you 
never  knew. 

44  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

When  she  got  a  husband,  and  namely  such  one, 

As  they  by  wedding  could  not  onely  nought  win, 

But  lose  both  living  and  love  of  all  their  kin. 

Good  aunt,  (quoth  I),  humbly  I  beseech  yee, 

My  trespasse  done  unto  you  forgive  it  me. 

I  know  and  knowledge  I  have  wrought  mine  own  payne, 

But  thinges  past  my  handes,  I  can  not  call  agayne. 

True,  (quoth  Ales),  thinges  done  cannot  be  undone, 

Be  they  done  in  due  tyme,  too  late  or  too  soone  : 

But  better  late  then  never11  to  repent  this. 

Too  late,  (quoth  myne  aunt),  this  repentaunce  shewd 


When  the  steede  is  stolne  shut  the  stable  durre™ 
I  tooke  her  for  a  rose,  but  she  breedeth  a  bur  re. 

17  Better  late  then  never. 

Again  in  TUSSER'S  Five  Hundred  Points  of  Good  Husbandry . 

18  When  the  steede  is  stolne  shut  the  stable  diirre. 

Quant  fol  par  noun  saver 
Ad  perdu  soun  aver, 
E  il  est  ben  matez 
E  ?eus  garder  nel  saver 
Mes  si  ore  le  avei 
Touz  tens  averei  asez 

Quant  le  cheval  est  enable*  dounke  ferme  fols  Testable. 
Ces  dist  le  vilain. 

Les  Proverbes  del  Vilain,  circa  1300. 

The  steede  was  stollen  before  I  shut  the  gate, 
The  cates  consumed  before  I  smelt  the  feast. 

Devises  of  Sundrie  Gentlemen. 

JOHN   HEY  WOOD.  45 

Shee  comth  to  sticke  to  me  now  in  her  lacke, 

Rather  to  rent  off  my  clothes  from  my  backe, 

Than  to  doe  me  one  farthing  woorth  of  good. 

/  see  day  at  this  title  hole.     For  this  hood 

Shewth  what  fruite  will  follow.    In  good  faith;  I  sayd, 

In  way  of  your  petition  I  sue  for  your  ayd. 

A  well,  (quoth  she),  now  I  well  understand, 

The  walking  staff e  hath  caught  warmth  in  your  hand. 

A  cleane  fingred  huswife,  and  an  idle,  folke  say, 

And  will  be  lyme-fingred,  I  feare  by  my  faye. 

It  is  as  tender  as  a  Parsons  lemman  ; 

Nought  can  shee  dooe,  and  what  can  shee  have  than  ? 

As  sober  as  shee  seemeth  fewe  dayes  come  about, 

But  shee  will  once  wash  her  face  in  an  ale  clout ; 

And  then  betweene  her  and  the  rest  of  the  rout, 

I  proud,  and  thou  proud,  who  shall  beare  th  'ashes  out. 

She  may  not  beare  a  feather,  but  shee  must  breath, 

She  maketh  so  much  of  her  paynted  sheath. 

She  thinkes  her  farthing  good  silver,^  I  tell  you, 

Rut  for  a  farthing  who  ever  did  sell  you, 

Might  bostyou  to  be  better  solde  than  bought. 

And  yet  though  she  be  worth  nought,  nor  have  nought, 

19  She  thinkes  her  farthing  good  silver. 

Pandarina.  Take  example  at  me  ;  I  tell  you  I  thought  my  half- 
peny  good  silver  within  these  few  yeares  past,  and  no  man  esteem- 
eth  me  unlesseit  be  for  counsell. — GASCOIGNE'S  Glasse  of  Govern- 
ment, 1575- 


Her  gowne  is  gayer  and  better  then  myne. 

At  her  gaye  gowne,  (quoth  Ales),  ye  may  repine, 

How  be  it  as  we  may,  we  love  to  goe  gay  all. 

Well,  well,  (quoth  myne  aunt),/r^  will  have  a  fall ; 

For  pryde  goeth  before  and  shame  commeth  after. ^ 

Sure,  (sayd  Ales),  in  manner  of  mocking  laughter, 

There  is  nothing  in  this  world  that  agreeth  wurse, 

Then  doth  a  Ladies  hart  and  a  beggers  purse. 

But  pryde  she  sheweth  none,  her  looke  reason  alloweth, 

Site  lookth  as  butter  would  not  melt  in  her  mouth^ 

Well,  the  still  sow  eats  up  all  the  draffe?  Ales. 

20  Pryde  goeth  before,  &>c. 

Pryde  gothe  before  and  shame  cometh  behynde  : 
Alas  that  Englyshe  men  sholde  be  so  blynde, 
So  moche  sorowe  amonge  us  and  so  lytell  fere 
We  may  wayle  the  tyme  that  ever  it  came  here. 

Treatise  of  a  Gallant,  circa  1510. 

21  She  lookth  as  butter  would  not  melt  in  her  mouth. 

A  cette  parolle  mist  dame  Mehault  ses  mains  a  ses  costez  et  en 
grant  couroux  luy  respondy  que.  .  .  .  et  que,  Dieu  merci,  ain- 
cores  fondoit  le  burre  en  sa  bouche,  combien  qu'elle  ne  peust  cro- 
quier  noisettes,  car  elle  n'avoit  que  un  seul  dent. — Les  Evangiles 
des  Quenouilles,  circa  1475. 

1   The  still  sow  eats  up  all  the  draffe. 

A  "still  sow  "was  a  term  of  reproach  for  a  sly  lurking  fellow  ; 
"draff"  is  anything  unfit  for  human  food. 

Mrs.  Page.  Wives  may  be  merry,  and  yet  honest  too  : 
We  do  not  act,  that  often  jest  and  laugh  ; 
'Tis  old  but  true,  stil  swine  eat  all  the  draff. 

Merry  Wives  of  Windsor,  iv.  2. 


All  is  not  gold  that  glisters  *  by  told  tales. 
In  youth  she  was  toward  and  without  evill ; 
But  soone  ripe,  so  one  rotten  /3  yong  saint ',  old  devill.* 
How  be  it,  lo  God  sendth  the  shrewd  cowe  short  homes? 
While  she  was  in  this  house  she  sate  upon  thornes, 
Each  on  day  was  three,  till  liberty  was  borow, 
For  one  months  joy  to  bring  her  whole  lyves  sorow. 
It  were  pitty,  (quoth  Ales),  but  she  should  do  well  ; 
For  beauty  and  stature  she  beareth  the  bell?  j  */  $/  (.'•  «  : 

2  All  is  not  gold  that  glisters. 

Uns  proverbes  dit  et  raconte 

Que  tout  n'est  pas  ors  c'on  voit  luire. 

Li  Diz  de  freire  Denise  cordelier,  circa  1300. 
All  things  that  shineth  is  not  by  and  by  pure  gold. — Ralph 
Roister  Doister,  1 566. 

Is  found  in  CHAUCER'S  Chanones  Yemannes  Tale,  and  in 
LYDGATE'S  poem  On  the  Mutability  of  Human  Affairs. 

3  Soone  ripe,  soone  rotten. 

Occurs  in  H  ARMAN'S  Caveat  for  Common  Cursitors,  1567. 

4  Yong  saint,  old  devill. 

Young  seynt,  old  devyl. — MS.  Harleian,  circa  1490. 

*  God  sendth  the  shrewd  cowe  short  homes. 

The  Bishop  of  Sarum  sayd,  That  he  trusted  ere  Christmas  Day 
to  visit  and  cleanse  a  good  part  of  the  kingdom.  But  most  com- 
monly God  sendeth  a  shrewd  cow  short  horns,  or  else  many  a 
thousand  in  England  had  smarted. — FOXE,  Acts  und Monuments. 

6  She  beareth  the  bell. 

In  horse-racing,  a  bell  was  formerly  the  prize  competed  for, 
hence  the  epitaph  :— 

Here  lyes  the  man  whose  horse  did  gaine 
The  bell,  in  race  on  Salisbury  plain. 

48  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Illweedegroivthfast, T  Ales  :  whereby  the  corne  is  lorne  ; 
For  surely  the  weede  overgroweth  the  corne. 
Yee  prayse  the  wine  before  yee  taste  of  the  grape  ; 
But  she  can  no  more  harme  than  can  a  shee  ape. 
It  is  a  good  body,  her  property  preeves  : 
Shee  lacketh  but  even  a  new  pare  of  sleeves. 
If  I  may,  (as  they  say),  tell  troth  without  sinne, 
Of  troth  she  is  a  wolfe  in  a  lambes  skinne. 
Her  hart  is  ful  hie,  when  her  eie  is  ful  low  ; 
A  guest  as  good  lost  as  found,  for  all  this  show  ; 
But  many  a  good  cow  hath  an  evill  caulfe. 
I  speake  this  daughter  in  thy  mother's  behalfe, 
My  sister,  (God  rest  her  soule),  whom  though  I  bost, 
Was  cald  the  floure  of  honesty  in  this  cost. 
Aunt,  (quoth  I),  I  take  for  father  and  mother, 
Myne  uncle  and  you  above  all  other. 
When  we  would,  ye  would  not  be  our  child,  (quoth  she)  ; 
.Wherefore  now  whan  yee  would,  now  will  not  wee. 

7  ///  weede  growth  fast. 

Mother.  Good  Lord  ! 

How  you  have  grown  !  Is  he  not  Alexander  ? 
Alex.  Yes,  truly,  he's  shot  up  finely,  God  be  thanked  ! 
Mercury.  An  ill  weed,  mother,  will  do  so. 
Alex.  You  say  true,  sir,  an  ill  weed  grows  apace 

Ewyl  weed  ys  sone  y-growe. 

MS.  Harleian,  circa  1490. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  49 

Since  thou  wouldst  needes  cast  away  thy  selfe  thus, 
Thou  shalt  sure  sinke  in  thyne  owne  sinne  for  us. 
Aunt,  (quoth  I),  after  a  doting  or  drunken  deede, 
Let  submission  obtayne  some  mercy  or  meede. 
Hee  that  kilth  a  man  when  he  is  drunke,  (quoth  she), 
Shal  be  hangd  when  he  is  sober.     And  he 
Whom  in  itching  no  scratching  will  forbeare, 
He  must  beare  the  smarting  that  shall  follow  there. 
And  thou  being  borne  very  nigh  of  my  stocke, 
Though  nye  be  my  kirtell,  yet  neere  is  my  smocked 
I  have  one  of  myne  owne  whome  I  must  looke  to. 
Yea  aunt,  (quoth  Ales),  that  thing  must  ye  needes  doe  ; 
Nature  compelth  you  to  set  your  own  first  up  ; 
For  I  have  heard  say,  it  is  a  deere  collup  9 
That  is  cut  out  of  th  owne  flesh.     But  yet  aunt, 
So  small  may  her  request  be,  that  ye  may  grant 
To  satisfy  the  same,  which  may  do  her  good, 
And  you  no  harme,  in  avauncing  of  your  owne  blood. 

8  Though  nye  be  my  kirtell,  &c. 

Beside,  there  is  a  antiquitie  a  proverb  no  lesse  practised  then 
common,  which  is,  Nearer  unto  mee  is  my  shirt  then  my  coate  ;  by 
following  of  which,  every  man  commonly  loveth  his  owne  profit 
more  then  others. — The  Contention  betweene  three  Brethren; 
the  Whore-monger,  the  Drunkard,  and  the  Dice  Player,  1608. 

9  Collup. 

God  knows  thou  art  a  colup  of  my  flesh. 

i  Henry  VI.  v.  5^ 


And  cosin,  (quoth  she  to  me),  what  ye  would  crave, 
Declare,  that  our  aunt  may  know  what  ye  would  have  ? 
Nay,  (quoth  I),  be  the  winners  all  loosers, 
Folke  say  alway,  beggers  should  be  no  choosers. 10 
With  thanks  I  shal  take  what  ever  myne  aunt  please ; 
Where  nothing  is,  a  little  thing  doth  ease  ; 
Hunger  maketh  hard  beans  sweet.     Where  saddles  lack, 
Better  ryde  on  a  pad  than  on  the  horse  bare  backe. 
And  by  this  proverbe  appeareth  this  one  thing, 
That  alway  somewhat  is  better  then  nothing. 
Hold  fast  whan  ye  have  it,  (quoth  she) ;  by  my  lyfe, 
The  boy  thy  husband,  and  thou  the  girle,  his  wife, 
Shall  not  consume  that  I  have  labored  fore. 
Thou  art  yong  ynough,  and  I  can  worke  no  more. 
Kyt  Calot^  my  cosin,  saw  this  thus  farre  on, 

10  Beggers  should  be  no  choosers. 

Loveless.  What  dost  thou  mean  to  do  with  thy  children,  Savil  ? 

SaviL  My  eldest  boy  is  half  a  rogue  already  ; 
He  was  born  bursten  ;  and  your  worship  knows, 
That  is  a  pretty  step  to  men's  companions. 
My  youngest  boy  I  purpose,  sir,  to  bind 
For  ten  years  to  a  gaoler,  to  draw  under  him, 
That  he  may  shew  us  mercy  in  his  function, 

Beggers  must  be  no  choosers  ; 

In  every  place,  I  take  it,  but  the  stocks. 

BEAUMONT  AND  FLETCHER,  Scornful  Lady,  v.  3. 

11  Kyt  Calot. 

Kit  Callot  and  Giles  Hather  are  said  to  have  been  the  first 


And  in  myne  auntes  eare  she  whispreth  anon, 
Roundly  these  wordes,  to  make  this  matter  whole,— 
Aunt,  let  them  that  be  a  colde  blow  at  the  cole.1- 
They  shall  for  me,  Ales,  (quoth  she),  by  God's  blist. 
She  and  I  have  shaken  handes.     Farewell  unkist* 
And  thus  with  a  beck  as  good  as  a  dieu-gardy 
She  flang  fro  me,  and  I  from  her  hitherward. 
Begging  of  her  booteth  not  the  woorth  of  a  beane  ; 
Little  knoweth  the  fat  sow  what  the  leane  doth  meane*. 
Forsooth,  (quoth  I),  ye  have  bestird  ye  well ; 
But  where  was  your  uncle  while  all  this  fray  fell  ? 
Asleepe  by,  (quoth  she),  routing  lyke  a  hogge  ; 
And  it  is  evill  waking  of  a  sleeping  dogge. 
The  bitch  and  her  whelpe  might  have  bene  a  sleepe 


For  ought  they  in  waking  to  me  would  doo. 
Fare  ye  well,  (quoth  she).      I  will  now  home  straight, 
And  at  my  husbandes  handes  for  better  newes  weight, 

English  persons  who  took  up  the  occupation  of  gipsies.     Hence 
the  use  of  the  word  'calot'  as  a  term  of  abuse.      It  is  variously  1 
spelt  and  is  used  generally  to  denote  a  scold  or  infamous  woman-.  1 

Gogs  bread  !  and  thinkes  the  callet  thus  to  keep  the  neele  me 
fro. — Gammer  Gurtons  Needle,  1560. 
12  Let  them  that  be  a  colde  blow  at  the  cole. 
Our  talwod  is  all  brent, 
Our  fagottes  are  all  spent,. 
We  may  blow  at  the  cole. 
Why  come  ye  not  to  Court,  by  JOHN  SKELTON,  circa  1520. 

52  THE    PROVERBS    OF 


j  E  that  came  to  me  the  next  day  before  noone  : 
What  tydinges  now,  (quoth  I),  how  have  ye 

doone  ? 

Upon  our  departing,  (quoth  he),  yesterday, 
Toward  myne  uncle's,  somewhat  more  than  midway, 
I  overtooke  a  man,  a  servant  of  his, 
And  a  frend  of  myne.     Who  gessed  streight  with  this 
What  myne  errand  was,  offring  in  the  same 
To  doe  his  best  for  me  ;  and  so  in  God's  name 
Thither  we  went ;  no  body  being  within, 
But  myne  uncle,  myne  aunt,  and  one  of  our  kin, 
A  made  knave,  as  it  were  a  rayling  gester, 
Not  a  more  gaggling  gander  hence  to  Chester. 
At  sight  of  me  he  asked,  who  have  we  there  ? 
I  have  seene  this  gentleman,  if  I  wist  where ; 
How  be  it,  lo,  seldom  seene,  soone  forgotten. 
He  was,  (as  he  will  be),  some  what  cupshotten. 
Sixe  dayes  in  the  weeke,  beside  the  market  day, 
Malt  is  above  wheat  with  him,  market  men  say. 
But  for  as  much  as  I  saw  the  same  taunt, 
Contented  well  mine  uncle  and  myne  aunt, 


And  that  I  came  to  fall  in  and  not  to  fall  out, 

I  forbare,  or  else  his  drunken  red  snout 

I  would  have  made  as  oft  to  chaunge  from  hew  to 


As  doth  cockes  of  Inde.     For  this  is  true, 
It  is  a  small  hop  on  the  thombe.13     And  Christ  wot, 
It  is  wood  at  a  woord  ;  li  tie  pot  soone  hot^ 
Now  mery  as  a  cricket,  and  by  and  by, 
Angry  as  a  waspe,  though  in  both  no  cause  why. 
But  he  was  at  home  there,  he  might  speake  his  will, 
Every  cocke  is  proud  on  his  owne  dunghill.'*-5 
I  shall  be  even  with  him  herein  when  I  can. 
But  he  having  done,  thus  myne  uncle  began, — 
Ye  marchant  what  attempth  you  to  attempt  us, 
To  come  on  us  before  the  messenger  thus  ? 

13  Hop  on  the  thombe. 

A  term  of  contempt  applied  to  diminutive  persons. 
Plain  friend  hop  o'  my  thumb,  know  you  who  we  are  ? — Taming 
of  the  Shrew. 

14  Little  pot  soone  hot. 

Now  were  I  not  a  little  pot,  and  soon  hot,  my  very  lips  might 
freeze  to  my  very  teeth, ....  for,  considering  the  weather,  a  taller 
man  than  I  will  take  cold. — Taming  of  the  Shrew ,  iv.  i. 

15  Every  cocke  is  proude  on  his  owne  dunghill. 

J?et  fleshs  is  her  et  home,  ase  eorSe,  f>et  is  et  eorfce  :  aut  for  J>ui 
hit  is  cwointe  ^  cwiuer,  ease  me  sei$,  "  J?et  coc  is  kene  on  his 
owne  mixenne." — Ve  Ancren  Riwle,  circa  1250. 

54  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Roming  in  and  out,  I  here  tell  how  ye  tosse, 

But  sonne,  the  rolling  stone  never  gather th  mossed 

Lyke  a  pickpurse  pilgrim  ye  prie  and  ye  proule 

At  rovers,  to  robbe  Peter  and  pay  Ponied 

I  wis  I  know  ere  any  more  be  tolde, 

That  draff e  is  your  errand,  but  drinke  ye  wold.lQ 

Uncle,  (quoth  I),  of  the  cause  for  which  I  come, 

I  pray  you  patiently  heare  the  whole  summe. 

In  fayth,  (quoth  hee),  without  any  more  summing, 

16  The  rolling  stone  never  gather  th  mosse. 

Herod.  Speake  thou  three-legd  tripos,  is  thy  shippe  of  fooles 
a  flote  yet  ? 

Dondolo.  I  ha  many  things  in  my  head  to  tell  you. 

Herod.  I,  thy  head  is  alwaies  working  ;  it  roles,  and  it  roles, 
Dondolo,  but  it  gathers  no  mosse,  Dondolo. — The  Fawn,  1606, 

Pierre  volage  ne  queult  mousse. — De  Thermite  quisedesespe'ra 
pour  le  larron  qui  ala  enparadis  avant  que  lui,  I3th  century. 

17  To  robbe  Peter  and  pay  Poule. 

The  proverb  is  said  to  have  derived  its  origin  when,  in  the 
reign  of  Edward  VI.,  the  lands  of  St.  Peter  at  Westminster  were 
appropriated  to  raise  money  for  the  repair  of  St.  Paul's  in  London. 
It  must  be  recollected  that  the  first  edition  of  Hey  wood's  book 
appeared  at  the  precise  time  that  this  arrangement  was  either 
being  determined  upon  or  being  executed.  The  French  form  of 
the  proverb,  "  ddcouvrir  saint  Pierre  pour  couvrir  saint  Paul" 
gives  additional  colouring  to  the  statement. 

18  Draffe  is  your  errand,  but  drinke  ye  wold. 
Again  in  LYLY'S  Euphues^  1579. 


I  know  to  beg  of  me  is  thy  comming. 
Forsoth,  (quoth  his  man),  it  is  so  indeede ; 
And  I  dare  boldly  boste,  if  yee  knew  his  neede, 
Yee  would  of  pitty  yet  set  him  in  some  stay. 
Sonne,  better  be  envied  than  pitied,  folke  say  : 
And  for  his  cause  of  pitye,  (had  hee  had  grace), 
Hee  might  this  day  have  bene  cleere  out  of  the  case, 
But  now  hee  hath  well  fisht  and  caught  afrogge ; 19 
Where  nought  is  to  wed  with,  wise  men  flee  the  clog?" 
Where  I,  (quoth  I),  did  not  as  yee  will  or  bad, 
That  repent  I  oft,  and  as  oft  wish  I  had. 
Sonne,  (quoth  he),  as  I  have  heard  of  myne  olders, 

Well  fisht  and  caught  afrogge. 
So  again  writes  LATIMER  in  his  Remaines : — 
Well  I  have  fished  and  caught  a  frog, 
Brought  little  to  pass  with  much  ado. 

20  "A  clog" from  originally  meaning  an  incumbrance,  came  in 
process  of  time  to  mean  a  wife.  In  its  latter  sense  we  find  its 
use  as  well  as  its  definition  in  a  very  early  literary  remnant : — 

Science.  Ye  have  woon  me  for  ever  dowghter. 
Although  ye  have  woon  a  clogg  wyth  all. 

Wyt.  A  clogg,  sweete  hart,  what  ? 

Science.  Such  as  doth  fall 
To  all  men  that  joyne  themselves  in  marriage. 

Play  of  Wyt  and  Science,  circa  1 540. 

Again  in  Winter's  Tale,  iv.  4  : — 

The  prince  himself  is  about  a  piece  of  iniquity, 
Stealing  away  from  his  father  with  his  clog  at  his  heels. 

56  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Wishers  and  wolders  bee  no  good  housholders  / 
This  proverbe  for  a  lesson,  with  such  other. 
Not  lyke,  (as  who  sath),  the  sonne  of  my  brother, 
But  lyke  myne  owne  sonne,  I  oft  before  told  thee 
To  cast  her  quite  of,  but  it  would  not  hold  thee. 
Whan  I  wild  thee  any  other  whether  to  goe, 
Tush,  there  was  no  moe  maydes  but  Malkin1  thoe ! 
Yee  had  been  lost,  to  lacke  your  lust  when  yee  list, 
By  two  myles  trudging  twise  a  weeke  to  bee  kist. 
I  would  yee  had  kist,  well  I  will  no  more  sturre  ; 
//  is  good  to  have  a  hatch  before  the  durre? 

1  Wishers  and  wolders  bee  no  good  housholders. 

The  earliest  occurrence  of  this  proverb  is  probably  that  in 
Vulgaria  Stambrigi,  printed  circa  1510  : — 

Wysshers  and  wolders  ben  smal  housholders. 

Francisco  was  set  at  libertie  and  hee  and  Isabel,  joyntly  toge- 
ther taking  themselves  to  a  little  cottage,  began  to  be  as  Ctcero- 
nicall  as  they  were  amorous  ....  for  he  being  a  scholer,  and 
nurst  up  at  the  universities,  resolved  rather  to  live  by  his  wit,  then 
any  way  to  be  pinched  with  want,  thinking  this  old  sentence  to 
be  true,  the  wishers  and  woulders  were  never  good  house-holders. 
— GREEN'S  Never  too  Late,  1590. 

2  Moe  maydes  but  Malkin. 

"  Malkin,"  a  form  of  Mary,  was  used  to  denote  a  slattern,  and 
in  many  parts  of  England  is  still  the  name  for  a  scarecrow. 

The  kitchen  malkin  pins 
Her  richest  lockram  'bout  her  reechy  neck. 

Coriolanus,  ii.  I, 

3  //  is  good  to  have  a  hatch  before  the  durre. 

A  hatch  is  a  wooden  partition  coming  over  the  lower  half  of  a 


But  who  ivill  in  tyme  present  pleasure  refrayne, 

Shall  in  time  to  come  the  more  pleasure  obtayne. 

Follow  pleasure ',  and  then  will  pleasure  flee  ; 

Flee  pleasure,  and  pleasure  will  follow  thee. 

And  how  is  my  saying  come  to  passe  now  ? 

How  oft  did  I  prophecie  this  betweene  you 

And  your  Ginifmee  Nycebecetur, 

Whan  sweete  sugre  should  turne  to  soure  salt  petur  ? 

Whereby  yee  should  in  seeing  that  yee  never  saw, 

Thinke  that  you  never  thought,  your  selfe  a  daw.4 

doorway  and  leaving  open  the  upper  half.  In  the  time  of  Queen 
Elizabeth,  disreputable  houses  were  distinguished  by  hatches  sur- 
mounted with  iron  spikes.  To  frequent  places  of  that  description 
was  politely  called  "  to  go  the  manor  of  pickt  hatch  "  ;  and  the 
nickname  Pickt  Hatch  was  bestowed  on  certain  parts  of  Eliza- 
bethan London  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Turnmill  Street,  Clerk- 
enwell.  So  we  find  in  Merry  Wives  of  Windsor, — 

To  your  manor  of  pickt  hatch  go  ! 
4  A  daw,  i.  e.,  a  foolish  fellow. 

Humphrey  Dixon  said  of  Nicholas  Brestney,  utter  Barrester 
and  Counsellor  of  Gray's-Inn.  Thou  a  Barrester  ?  Thou  art  no 
Barrester,  thou  art  a  Barretor  ;  thou  wert  put  from  the  Bar,  and 
hou  darest  not  shew  thyself  there.  Thou  study  Law  ?  Thou 
hast  as  much  wit  as  a  Daw.  Upon  not  guilty  pleaded,  the  Jury 
found  for  the  plaintiff,  and  assessed  damages  to  ,£23,  upon  which 
udgment  was  given :  and  in  a  Writ  of  Error  in  the  Exchequer 
Chamber,  the  judgment  was  affirmed.— Coke's  Reports. 

Good  faith,  I  am  no  wiser  than  a  daw. 

I  Henry  VL  ii.  4. 

An  earlier  instance  of  this  application  of  the  word  is  found  in 
The  Four  Elements,  circa  1510  : — 


But  that  tyme  yee  thought  me  a  daw,  so  that  I 
Did  no  good  in  al  my  wordes  then,  save  onely 
Approved  this  proverbe  plaine  and  true  matter ; 
A  man  may  well  bring  a  horse  to  the  water, 
But  he  cannot  make  him  drinke  without  he  will. 
Colts,  (quoth  his  man),  may  prove  well  with  tatches  ill, 
For  of  a  ragged  colt  there  comth  a  good  horse? 
If  he  be  good  now,  of  his  ill  past  no  force. 
Well,  he  that  hangeth  himselfe  on  Sunday,  (said  he), 
Shall  hang  still  uncut  downe  on  Monday  for  me. 
/  have  hangd  up  my  hatchet,  God  speed  him  well. 
A  wonder  thing  what  things  these  old  things  tell. 
Cat  after  kinde  good  mouse  hunt.   And  also 
Men  say,  kinde  will  creepe  where  it  may  not  go e^ 
Commonly  all  things  shewth  from  whence  it  camme  ; 
The  litter  is  like  to  the  sire  and  the  damme  ; 

He  that  for  commyn  welth  bysyly 
Studyeth  and  laboryth,  and  lyveth  by  Goddes  law 
Except  he  waxe  ryche,  men  count  hym  but  a  daw  ! 

5  Of  a  ragged  colt,  &>c. 

Touchstone.  This  cannot  be  fained,  sure.  Heaven  pardon  my 
severitie  !  "  The  ragged  colt  may  prove  a  good  horse." — Eastward 
Hoe,  1605. 

6  Kinde  will  creepe  where  it  may  not  goe. 

Thurio.  How  now,  sir  Proteus  ?  are  you  crept  before  us  ? 
Proteus.  Ay,  gentle  Thurio  ;  for  you  know  that  love 
Will  creep  in  service  when  it  cannot  go. 

Two  Gentlemen  of  Verona,  iv.  2. 


How  can  the  fo  ale  amble  if  the  horse  and  mare  trot? 

These  sentences  are  assigned  unto  thy  lot, 

By  conditions  of  thy  father  and  mother, 

My  sister  in  law,  and  mine  owne  said  brother. 

f  >  '  /    ^  (R 

Thou  followest  their  steps  as  right  as  a  line. 
For  when  provander  prickt  them  a  little  time, 
They  did  as  thy  wife  and  thou  did,  both  dote 
Each  on  other;  and  being  not  worth  a  grote, 
Then  went  (witlesse)  to  wedding.     Whereby  at  last 
They  both  went  a  begging.     And  even  the  like  cast 
Hast  thou  ;  thou  wilt  beg  or  steale  ere  thou  die. 
Take  heed,  friend,  I  have  seene  as  far  come  as  nie. 
If  ye  seeke  to  finde  things  ere  they  be  lost, 
Ye  shall  find  one  day  ye  come  to  your  cost 
This  doe  I  but  repeate,  for  this  I  tolde  thee  ; 
And  more  I  say,  but  I  could  not  then  hold  thee ; 
Nor  will  not  hold  thee  now ;  nor  such  follie  feele, 
To  set  at  my  heart  that  thou  settest  at  thy  heele. 
And  as  of  my  good  ere  I  one  grote  give, 
I  will  see  how  my  wife  and  my  selfe  may  live. 
Thou  goest  a  gleaning  ere  the  cart  have  carried, 
But  ere  thou  gleane  ought,  since  thou  wouldst  be  married . 
Shall  I  make  thee  laugh  now,  and  my  selfe  weepe  then  ? 
Nay  good  childe,  better  children  weepe  then  old  men.1 

7  Better  children  weepe  then  old  men. 

These  words  are  memorable  from  a  well-known  episode  in  the 


Men  should  not  prease  much  to  spend  much  upon  fooles ; 
Fish  is  castaway  that  is  cast  in drie  pooles. 
To  flee  charge,  and  finde  ease,  ye  would  now  here  oste  ; 
It  is  easie  to  crie  ble*  at  other  mens  cost ; 
But  a  bow  long  bent,  at  length  must  ware  weake. 
Long  bent  I  toward  you,  but  that  bent  I  will  breake. 
Fare  well,  and  feede  full,  that  love  ye  well  to  doo, 
But  you  lust  not  to  doe  that  longeth  theretoo. 
The  cat  would  eate  fish  and  would  not  wet  her  feete? 
They  must  hunger  in  frost  that  will  not  worke  in  heete. 
And  he  that  will  thrive  must  aske  leave  of  his  wife;10 
But  your  wife  will  give  none  ;  by  your  and  her  life, 

Gowrie  conspiracy.  King  James  VI.  about  to  depart  fron  Gowrie 
Castle  was  forcibly  prevented  by  the  Master  of  Glammis,  and  as 
the  tears  started  to  the  eyes  of  the  young  king,  "  better  bairns 
weep  than  bearded  men"  is  recorded  to  have  been  the  other's 

8  To  cry  ble. 

One  of  the  Hundred  Mery  Tales,  circa  1525,  is  entitled  "  Of 
the  husbande  that  cryed  ble  under  the  bed." 

9  The  cat  would  eate  fish  and  would  not  wet  herfeete. 
Shakespeare  thus  alludes  to  this  proverb  in  Macbeth: — 

Letting,  I  dare  not,  wait  upon,  I  would, 
Like  the  poor  cat  r*  the  adage. 

Cat  lufat  visch,  ac  he  nele  his  feth  wete. 

MS.  Trin.  Coll.  Camb.,  circa  1250. 

10  He  that  will  thrive,  &>c. 

Another  proverb  rather  more  vaguely  lays  down  the  conditions 
of  prosperity  : — 


//  is  hard  to  wive  and  thrive  both  in  ay  eare.11 

Thus  by  wiving,  thy  thriving  doth  so  appeare, 

That  thou  art  past  thrift  before  thrift  begin.  I   J| 

But  loe,  will  will  have  will,  though  will  woe  win. 

Will  is  a  good  sonne  and  will  is  a  shrewd  boy : 

And  wilfull  shrewd  will  hath  wrought  thee  this  toy, 

A  gentle  white  spurre,  and  at  neede  a  sure  speare  ; 

He  standeth  now  as  he  had  a  flea  in  the  eare. 

How  be  it  for  any  great  curtesie  he  doth  make, 

It  seemeth  the  gentleman  hath  eaten  a  stake. 

He  beareth  a  dagger  in  his  sleeve,  trust  me, 

To  kill  all  that  he  meeteth  prouder  then  he. 

He  will  perke,  I  heare  say  he  must  have  the  bench  ; 

Jacke  would  be  a  gentleman  if  he  could  speake  French?" 

He  had  a  sonne  or  twaine  he  would  advaunce, 
And  sayd  they  should  take  paines  untyll  it  fell  ; 
He  that  wyll  thrive  (quod  he)  must  tary  chaunce. 

— Debate  betweene  Pride  and  Lowliness,  by  FRANCIS  THYNN, 

11  //  is  hard  to  wive  and  thrive  both  in  a  y eare. 

Primus  Pastor.  It  is  sayde  full  ryfe, 
A  man  may  not  wyfe 
And  also  thryfe 

And  alle  in  a  yere. 

Toivnely  Mysteries,  circa  1420. 

12  Jacke  would  be  a  gentleman  if  he  could  speake  French. 
The  proverb  is   obviously  a  relic    of  the   Norman   subver- 
sion of  England.     Speaking  of  the  rule  of  the  Anglo-Norman 

62  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

He  thinketh  his  feete  be  where  his  head  shall  never 


He  would  faine  flee,  but  he  wanteth  fethers,  some. 
Sir,  (quoth  his  man),  he  will  no  fault  defend  ; 
But  hard  is  for  any  man  all  faults  to  mend  ; 
He  is  liveles,  that  is  faultles,  old  folkes  thought. 
He  hath,  (quoth  he),  but  one  fault,  he  is  starke  nought. 
Well,  (quoth  his  man),  the  best  cart  may  overthrow. 
Carts  well  driven,  (quoth  he),  goe  long  upright  thow. 
But  for  my  reward,  let  him  no  longer  tarier  ; 
/  will  send  it  him  by  Jong  Long  the  carier. 
O  helpe  him  sir,  (said  he),  since  yee  easily  may. 
Sltamefull  craving,  (quoth  he),  must  have  shame  full  nay. 
Yee  may  sir,  (quoth  he),  mend  three  nayes  with  one  yee. 
Two  false  knaves  neede  no  broker™  men  say,  (sayd  hee). 

kings,  the  elder  Disraeli  writes  : — "  This  was  the  time  when  it 
was  held  a  shame  among  Englishmen  to  appear  English.  It 
became  proverbial  to  describe  a  Saxon  who  ambitioned  some 
distinguished  rank,  that  "  he  would  be  a  gentleman  if  he  could 
but  talk  French." — Amenities  of  Literature. 

13  Two  false  knaves  neede  no  broker. 

Some  will  say, 

A  crafty  knave  need  no  broker, 
But  here's  a  craftie  knave  and  a  broker  too. 

A  Knacke  to  Knowe  a  Knave,  1594. 

As  two  false  knaves  need  no  Broker,  for  they  can  easily 
enough  agree  in  wickednesse  fine  mediante,  without  any  to 
breake  the  matter  betweene  them :  so  among  true  and  faithfull 
men,  there  need  no  others. — A  Sword  against  Swearers,  1611. 


Some  say  also,  it  is  merry  when  knaves 

But  the  moe  knaves,  the  woorse  company  to  greet  e  ; 

The  one  knave  now  croucheth,  while  thother  cravith. 

But  to  shew  what  shall  be  his  relevavith, 

Either  after  my  death,  if  my  will  bee  kept, 

Or  during  my  lyfe  :  had  I  this  hall  hept 

With  gold,  he  may  his  part  on  good  Fryday  eate, 

And  fast  never  the  woorse  for  ought  hee  shall  get 

These  former  lessons  cond,  take  foorth  this,  sonne. 

Tell  thy  cards,  and  then  tell  me  wliat  thou  hast  won? 

Now  here  is  the  dore  and  there  is  the  way  : 

And  so,  (quoth  hee),  farewell  gentle  Geffray. 

Thus  parted  I  from  him,  being  much  dismayde, 

A  "broker77  formerly  meant  any  medium  or  go-between, 
hence  also  something  discreditable. 

Madam,  I  am  no  broker  ! 
BEAUMONT  AND  FLETCHER,  Valentin,  ii.  2. 

14  //  is  merry  when  knaves  meete. 

No  more  of  Cocke  now  I  wryte, 

But  mery  it  is  when  knaves  done  mete. 

Cocke  Lorelles  Bote,  circa  1510. 

Gentleman.  But  where's  the  new  Booke  thou  telst  me  of? 

Prentice.  Mary,  looke  you,  sir  :  this  is  a  prettie  meeting  here 
in  London  betweene  a  Wife,  a  Widow,  and  a  Mayde. 

Gentleman.  Merrie  meeting  ?  why  that  Title  is  stale.  There's 
a  Boke  cald  Tis  merry  when  knaves  meete,  and  there's  a  Ballad 
Tis  merry  when  Malt-men  meete  ;  and  besides  there's  an  old 
Proverbe  The  more  the  merrier.  —  Tis  Merrie  when  Gossips 
meete,  by  SAMUEL  ROWLANDS,  1602. 


Which  his  man  saw,  and  to  comfort  mee,  sayd  : 

What  man,  plucke  up  your  harte,  bee  of  good  cheere  ! 

After  cloudes  blacke,  wee  shall  have  wether  deere. 

What  should  your  face  thus  againe  the  wool  be  shorne 

For  one  fall  ?  What  man  all  this  wind  shakes  no  corne  ! 

Let  this  wind  overblow  ;  a  tyme  I  will  spye, 

To  take  winde  and  tyde  with  mee  and  speed  thereby. 

I  thanke  you,  (quoth  I),  but^raztf  boste  and  small  roste 

Maketh  unsavery  mouthes,  where  ever  men  oste. 

And  this  bost  very  unsavorly  serveth, 

For  while  the  grasse  groweth  the  horse  starveth.15 

Better  one  byrde  in  hand  than  ten  in  the  wood^ 

Rome  was  not  built  in  one  day  (quoth  he),17  and  yet  stood 

15  While  the  grasse  groiveth,  &>c. 

Whylst  grass  doth  growe,  oft  sterves  the  seely  steede. 

WHETSTONE'S  Promos  and  Cassandra,  1578. 

Hamlet.  Ay,  sir,  but,  While  the  grass  grows, — 
The  proverb  is  something  musty. 

Hamlet,  iii.  2. 

16  Better  one  byrde  in  hand,  &c. 

An  old  proverbe  makyth  with  thys  whyche  I  tak  good. 
Better  one  byrd  in  hand  then  ten  in  the  wood. 

HEYWOOD'S  Dialogiie  on  Wit  and  Folly,  circa  1530. 

17  Rome  was  not  built  in  one  day. 

Haec  tamen  vulgaris  sententia  me  aliquantulum  recreavit,  quse 
etsi  non  auferre,  tamen minuerepossitdoloremmeum,quas  quidem 
sententia  haec  est,  Romam  uno  die  non  fuisse  conditam. — Extem- 
pore speech  by  Queen  Elizabeth  before  the  University  of  Cam- 
bridge, 9th  August,  1564. 


Till  it  was  finisht,  as  some  say,  full  fayre. 

Your  heart  is  in  your  hose™  all  in  dispayre. 

But  as  every  man  sayeth  a  dog  hath  a  day, 

Should  a  man  dispayre  than  any  day  ?  nay. 

Yee  have  many  strings  to  your  bowe^  for  yee  know, 

Though  I,  having  the  bent  of  your  uncles  bow, 

Can  no  way  bring  your  bolt  in  the  butte  to  stand  ; 

Yet  have  yee  other  markes  to  rove  at  hand. 

The  kayes  hang  not  all  by  one  man's  girdle,  man. 

Though  nought  will  be  woon  here,  I  say,  yet  yee  can 

Taste  other  kinsmen,  of  whom  yee  may  get 

Here  some  and  there  some,  many  small  make  a  gre at ^ 

Your  heart  is  in  your  hose. 

Primus  Pastor.  Breck  outt  youre  voce,  let  se  as  ye  yelp. 
Tercius  Pastor.  I  may  not  for  the  pose  hot  I  have  help. 
Secundus  Pastor.  A,  thy  hert  is  in  thy  hose. 

Towmley  Mysteries,  circa  1430. 

19  Yee  have  many  strings  to  your  bo  we. 

I  am  wel  pleased  to  take  any  coulor  to  defend  your  honor,  and 
hope  that  you  wyl  remember,  that  who  seakech  two  stringes  to 
one  bowe,  the  may  shute  strong,  but  never  strait ;  and  if  you 
suppose  that  princes  causes  be  vailed  so  covertly  that  no  intelli- 
gence can  bewraye  them,  deceave  not  your-selfe  ;  we  old  foxes  can 
find  shiftes  to  save  ourselves  by  others  malice  and  come  by 
knowledge  of  greattest  secreat,  spetiallye  if  it  touche  our  freholde. 
— Letter  of  Queen  Elizabeth  to  James  VI. ,  June,  1585. 

20  Many  small  make  a  great. 

The  proverbe  saith  that  many  a  small  makith  a  grete. — 
CHAUCER,  Persons  Tale. 

66  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

For  come  light  winnings  with  blessings  or  curses, 

Evermore  light  gaynes  make  heavie  purses. 

Children  learne  to  creepe  ere  they  can  learne  to  goe  ; 

By  little  and  little  yee  must  learne  even  so. 

Throw  no  gift  againe  at  the  givers  head ; 

For  better  is  halfe  a  lofe  than  no  bread. 

I  may  begge  my  bread,  (quoth  I),  for  my  kin  all 

That  dwelth  nye.     Well  yet,  (quoth  he),  and  the  worst 


Yee  may  to  your  kinsman,  hence  nine  or  ten  myle, 
Rich  without  charge,  whom  yee  saw  not  of  long  while. 
That  bench  whistler,  (quoth  I),  is  a  pinchpeny, 
As  free  of  gift  as  a  poor e  man  of  his  eye. 
He  is  hie  in  th  instep,  and  so  sir  eight  laste, 
That  pride  and  covetyse  withdraweth  all  repaste. 
Yee  know  what  he  hath  been,  (quoth  he),  but  ywis, 
Absence  sayth  plainely,  ye  know  not  what  he  is. 
Men  know,  (quoth  I),  I  have  heard  now  and  then, 
How  the  market  goeth  by  the  market  men. 
Further  it  is  said,  who  that  saying  wayeth, 
//  must  needs  be  true  that  every  man  sayeth. 
Men  say  also,  children  and  fooles  cannot  lye / 

1  Children  and  fooles  cannot  lye. 

Master  Constable  says  :  "  You  know  neighbours  'tis  an  old  saw, 
Children  and  fooles  speake  true." — LYLY'S  Endimion,  1591. 


And  both  man  and  childe  sayth,  he  is  a  hensby. 

And  myselfe  knowth  him,  I  dare  boldly  brag, 

Even  as  well  as  the  begger  knowth  his  bag?1 

And  I  knew  him  not  worth  a  gray  grote  ; 

He  was  at  an  ebbe,  though  he  be  now  a  flote. 

Poore  as  the  poorest.     And  now  nought  he  setteth 

By  poore  folke.     For  the  parish  priest  forgetteth 

That  ever  he  hath  been  holy  water  Clarke. 

By  ought  I  can  now  heare,  or  ever  could  marke, 

Of  no  man  hath  he  pitie  or  compassion. 

Well,  (quoth  he),  every  man  after  his  fashion. 

He  may  yet  pitie  you,  for  ought  doth  appeare  : 

//  hapth  in  one  houre  that  hapth  not  in  seven  y ear e. 

Forspeake  not  your  fortune,  nor  hide  not  your  neede  ; 

Nought  venter  nought  have;  spare  to  speak,  spare  to  speed; 

Unknowne,  unkist ;  it  is  lost  that  is  unsought. 

As goodseeke  nought,  (quoth  I),  as  seeke  andfinde  nought. 

It  is,  (quoth  I),  ill  fishing  before  the  net. 

But  though  we  get  little,  deare  bought  and  far  fet 

Are  dainties  for  Ladies?    Goe  we  both  two  ; 

2  As  well  as  the  begger  knowth  his  bag. 

As  well  as  the  begger  knows  his  dish,  is  another  form  of  this 
proverb  found  in  The  Burning  of  Paules  Church  in  London,  by 


8  Deare  bought  and  far  fet  are  dainties  for  Ladies. 
Niece.  Ay,  marry,  sir,  this  was  a  rich  conceit  indeed. 

68  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

I  have  for  my  master  thereby  to  doo. 
I  may  breake  a  dish  there.     And  sure  I  shall 
Set  all  at  sixe  and  seven?  to  win  some  windfall. 
And  I  will  hang  the  bell  about  the  cats  necke  * 
For  I  will  first  breake  and  jeoperd  the  first  checke. 

Pompey.  And  far  fetched  ;  therefore  good  for  you,  lady. 
BEAUMONT  and  FLETCHER,  Wit  at  several 

Some  far  fet  trick,  good  for  ladies,  some  stale  toy  or  other. 

MARSTON'S  Malcontent. 

4  Set  all  at  sixe  and  seven. 

In  the  Towneley  Mysteries  the  Deity  is  described  as  He  that 
"  set  alle  on  seven/'  that  is,  set  or  appointed  everything  in  seven 
days.  To  set  at  six  and  seven,  or  more  modernly,  "to  be  at 
sixes  and  sevens,"  Mr.  HalliweJl  supposes  to  be  the  reverse  of 
this,  to  disarrange,  to  put  into  disorder. 

Herod,  in  his  anger  at  the  Wise  Men,  exclaims  : — 

Bot  be  thay  past  me  by,  by  Mahowne  in  heven, 
I  shalle,  and  that  in  hy,  set  alle  on  sex  and  seven. 

Towneley  Mysteries,  circa  1420. 

All  is  uneven, 
And  everything  is  left  at  six  and  seven. 

Richard  77,  ii.  2. 

5  Hang  the  bell  about  the  cat's  necke. 
In  SKELTON'S  Colyn  Clout,  circa  1518. 

But,  quoth  one  Mouse  unto  the  rest, 
Which  of  us  all  dare  be  so  stout 
To  hang  the  bell  cats  neck  about  ?. 
If  here  be  any,  let  him  speake. 
Then  all  replicle.  We  are  too  weake  : 
The  stoutest  Mouse  and  tallest  Rat 
Doe  tremble  at  a  grim-fac'd  Cat. 

Diogines  Lanthorne,  1607. 


And  for  to  win  this  pray,  though  the  cost  be  mine, 

Let  us  present  him  with  a  bottle  of  wine. 

It  is  to  give  him,  (quoth  I),  as  much  almes  or  neede, 

As  cast  water  in  Terns,  or  as  good  a  deede 

As  it  is  to  helpe  a  dogge  over  a  stile. 

Then  goe  we,  (quoth  he),  we  leese  time  all  this  while. 

To  follow  his  fancie  we  went  togither, 

And  toward  night  yester  night  when  we  came  thither, 

She  was  within,  but  he  was  yet  abrode. 

And  streight  as  she  saw  me  she  sweld  like  a  tode} 

Pattring  the  divels  Pater  noster  to  her  selfe. 

God  never  made  a  more  crabbed  elfe  ! 

She  bad  him  welcome,  but  the  worse  for  me  ; 

This  knave  comth  a  begging  by  me,  thought  she. 

I  smeld  her  out,  and  had  her  streight  in  the  winde. 

She  may  abide  no  beggers  of  any  kinde. 

They  be  both  greedy  guts  all  given  to  get, 

They  care  not  how :  all  is  fish  that  comth  to  net? 

They  know  no  end  of  their  good  :  nor  beginning 

Of  any  goodnes,  such  is  wretched  winning. 

Hunger  droppeth  even  out  of  both  their  noses. 

6  All  is  fish  that  comth  to  net. 

But  now  (aye  me)  the  glasing  christal  glasse 

Doth  make  us  thinke  that  realmes  and  tovvnes  are  rych, 

Where  favor  sways  the  sentence  of  the  law, 

Where  al  is  fishe  that  cometh  to  net. 

GASCOIGNE'S  Steele  Glas,  1575. 

70  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

She  goeth  broken  shoone  and  torne  hoses. 

But  who  is  worse  shod  than  the  shoomakers  wife? 

With  shops  full  of  new  shooes  all  her  life  ? 

Or  who  will  doe  lesse,  than  they  that  may  doe  most  ? 

And  namely  of  her  I  can  no  way  make  boste. 

She  is  one  of  them  to  who  God  bad  hoe? 

She  will  all  have,  and  will  right  nought  forgoe. 

She  will  not  fart  with  the  paring  of  her  nayles. 

She  toyleth  continually  for  avayles. 

Which  life  she  hath  so  long  kept  in  ure, 

That  for  no  life  she  would  make  change,  be  sure. 

But  this  lesson  learnd  I  ere  I  was  yeares  seaven, 

They  that  be  in  hell  weene  there  is  none  other  heaven. 

She  is  nothing  fayre,  but  she  is  ill  favourd  ; 

And  no  more  unclenely  than  unsweet  savourd. 

1  Who  is  worse  shod  than  the  shoomakers  wife  ? 

This  may  be  compared  with  another  proverb  touching  the 
cobbler's  craft,  now  probably  obsolete  : — 

Heere  are  the  tenne  precepts  to  be  observed  in  the  art  of 
scolding  :  therefore  let  not  the  cobler  wade  above  his  slipper. 
The  cobler  above  his  slipper,  said  Chubb,  hee  is  a  knave  that 
made  that  proverb. — Fearefull  and  lamentable  Effects  of  two 
dangerous  Comets,  by  SIMON  SNEL-KNAVE,  1591. 

8  Hoe  or  whoe  means  a  stop  or  limit,  from  the  well-known 
exclamation  used  in  arresting  the  attention  of  a  person.  Out  of 
this  sprang  the  phrase  out  of  all  hoe,  meaning  out  of  all  bounds, 
beyond  restraint. 

For  he  once  loved  the  fair  maid  of  Fresingfield  out  of  all  hoe. 
—GREENE'S  Fryer  Bacon. 


But  hackney  men^  say  at  mangie  hacknies  hyre, 

A  scald  horse  is  good  enough  for  a  scabd  squyre.     < 

He  is  a  knuckilbonyard  very  meete 

To  match  a  minion  neither  fayre  nor  sweete. 

He  winkth  with  the  tone  eye  and  looketh  with  the  tother. 

I  will  not  trust  him  though  he  were  my  brother. 

He  hath  a  poyson  wit  and  all  his  delite 

Is  to  give  taunts  and  checks  of  most  spitefull  spite. 

In  that  house  commonly,  such  is  the  cast, 

A  man  shall  as  soone  breake  his  necke  as  his  fast  ; 

And  yet  now  such  a  gid  did  her  head  take, 

That  more  for  my  mates  then  for  manners  sake, 

We  had  bread  and  drinke,  and  a  cheese  very  great ; 

But  the  greatest  crabs  be  not  all  the  best  meate. 

For  her  crabbed  cheese,  with  all  the  greatnes, 

Might  well  abide  the  fineness  or  sweetnes. 

Anon  he  came  in.     And  when  he  us  saw, 

9  Hackney  men  at  this  date  are  understood  to  mean  proprietors 
of  horses  lent  for  hire  ;  "  a  hackney  "  being  the  name  for  a  saddle- 
horse.  It  was  not  until  the  reign  of  Charles  I.  that  the  title  was 
transferred  to  the  drivers  of  vehicles,  the  year  1625  being  the 
date  of  the  first  appearance  of  hackney  coaches  in  the  streets  of 
London.  They  were  then  only  twenty  in  number,  but  the  inno- 
vation occasioned  an  outcry  which  we  find  reflected  in  the  pages 
of  a  then  popular  author  : — 

The  world  runs  on  wheeles.  The  hackney-men,  who  were  wont 
to  have  furnished  travellers  in  all  places  with  fitting  and  service- 
able horses  for  any  journey,  (by  the  multitude  of  coaches)  are  un- 


To  my  companion  kindly  he  did  draw, 

And  a  well  favourd  welcome  to  him  he  yeelds, 

Bidding  me  welcome  strangely  over  the  fields, 

With  these  words  ;  Ah  yong  man,  I  know  your  matter, 

By  my  faith  you  come  to  looke  in  my  watter : 

And  for  my  comfort  to  your  consolation, 

Ye  would,  by  my  purse,  give  me  a  purgation  ; 

But  I  am  laxative  enough  there  otherwise. 

This,  (quoth  this  yong  man),  contrary  doth  rise  ; 

For  he  is  purse  sick,  and  lackth  a  Phisition, 

And  hopeth  upon  you  in  some  condition, 

Not  by  purgation,  but  by  restorative, 

To  strength  his  weaknes,  to  keepe  him  alive. 

I  cannot,  (quoth  he),  for  though  it  be  my  lot 

To  have  speculation,  yet  I  practise  not. 

I  see  much,  but  I  say  little,  and  doe  lesse, 

In  this  kind  of  Phisicke.     And  what  would  ye  gesse, 

Shall  I  consume  my  selfe  to  restore  him  now  ? 

Nay,  backare,  (quoth  Mortimer  to  his  Sow)  ;10 

done  by  the  dozens,  and  the  whole  commonwealth  most  abomin- 
ably jaded,  that  in  many  places  a  man  had  as  good  to  ride  on  a 
wooden  post,  as  to  poast  it  upon  one  of  those  hunger-starv'd 
hirelings. — TAYLOR'S  Works,  1630. 

10  Backare,  (quoth  Mortimer  to  his  Sow). 
The  allusion  is  lost,  but  the  phrase  would  seem  to  have  the 
meaning  of  "  to  recede,"  "  to  go  back." 

Gremio.  Saving  your  tale,  Petruchio,  I  pray, 
Let  us,  that  are  poor  petitioners,  speak  too : 
Baccare !  you  are  marvellous  forward. 


He  can,  before  this  time,  no  time  assine, 

In  which  he  hath  laid  downe  one  peny  by  mine, 

That  ever  might  either  make  me  bite  or  sup ; 

And  bir  Lady,  free[nd] !  nought  lay  downe,  nought  takeup. 

Ka  mee,  ka  thee  ;13  one  good  turne  asketh  another. 

Nought  woon  by  the  tone,  nought  woon  by  the  tother. 

To  put  me  to  cost  thou  camst  halfe  a  score  miles, 

Out  of  thine  owne  nest  to  seeke  me  in  these  out  yles  ; 

Where  thou  wilt  not  step  over  a  straw,  I  thinke, 

To  win  me  the  worth  of  one  draught  of  drinke, 

No  more  than  I  have  wonne  of  all  thy  whole  stocke. 

I  have  been  common  Jacke  12  to  all  that  whole  flocke  ; 

When  ought  was  to  doe  I  was  common  hackney. 

Folke  call  on  the  horse  that  will  carry  alwey  ; 

But  evermore  the  common  horse  is  worse  shod. 

Desert  and  reward  be  oft  times  things  far  od. 

At  end  /  might  put  my  winning  in  mine  eye, 

And  see  never  the  worse,13  for  ought  I  wan  them  by. 

11  Ka  mee,  ka  thee. 

Skelton  sayde  then  :  Why,  fellowe,  haste  thou  hurt  my  mare  ? 
Yea,  sayde  the  hostler,  ka  me,  ka  thee  :  yf  she  dose  hurte  me, 
I  wyll  displease  her. — Merie  Tales  of  SKELTON,  1567. 

12  Common  Jacke. 

Jack  is  a  familiar  appellation  for  anything  rather  disparag- 
ingly spoken  of.  In  the  Taming  of  the  Shrew,  Katharine  calls 
her  music-master  "  a  twangling  jacke,"  and  in  Richard  III.  we 
have  "  silken,  sly  insinuating  jacks." 

13  /  might  put  my  winning  in  mine  eye,  &*c. 

This  expression  is  found  Latinized  in  a  letter  of  Erasmus, 

74  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

And  now  without  them,  I  live  here  at  staves  end, 

Where  I  need  not  borow,  nor  will  I  lend. 

It  is  good  to  beware  by  other  mens  harmes  ; 

But  thy  taking  of  thine  aulter  in  thine  armes 

Teacheth  other  to  beware  of  their  harmes  by  thine. 

Thou  hast  stricken  the  ball  under  the  line. 

I  pray  you,  (quoth  I),  pitie  me  a  poore  man, 

With  somewhat  till  I  may  worke  as  I  can. 

Toward    your   working,   (quoth   he),    ye   make   such 


As  approve  you  to  be  none  of  the  hastings. 
Ye  run  to  worke  in  haste  as  nine  men  heldyee ; 
But  whensoever  ye  to  worke  must  yelde  yee, 
If  your  meet-mate  and  you  meete  together, 
Then  shall  we  see  two  men  beare  a  fether ; 
Recompensing  former  loytring  life  loose, 
As  did  the  pure  penitent  who  stole  a  goose 
And  stack  downe  a  fether.     And  where  old  folke  tell, 

circa  1500.     He  is  speaking  of  want  of  generosity  in  a  certain 
Cardinal,  of  whom  he  says  : — 

Episcopo  Leodiensi  nunc  Cardinal!,  cui  inscripsimus  Epistolas 
ad  Corinthios,  cui  libellum  inauratum  misimus,  cui  donavimus 
duo  volumina  Novi  Testament!  in  membranis  non  ineleganter 
adornata  neque  pretii  mediocris  ut  libenter  debemus  pro  splen- 
didis  promissis,  quae  non  semel  obtutit :  ita  non  est,  quod  ill!  pro 
donato  teruncio  gratias  agamus.  Tantum  donavit,  quantum  si 
incidat  in  oculum  quamvis  tenerum  nihil  torment!  sit  allaturum : 
id  ipse  non  inficiabitur. 


That  evill  gotten  goods  never  proveth  well; 

Ye  will  truly  get,  and  true  gettings  well  keepe, 

Till  time  ye  be  as  rich  as  a  new  shorne  sheepe.1* 

How  be  it  when  thrift  and  you  fell  first  at  a  fray, 

You  played  the  man,  for  ye  made  thrift  run  away. 

So  helpe  me  God,  in  my  poore  opinion, 

A  man  might  make  a  play  of  this  minion, 

And  faine  no  ground,  but  take  tales  of  his  owne  frends.15 

/  sucke  not  this  out  of  my  owne  fingers  ends. 

And  sinse  ye  were  wed,  although  I  nought  gave  you, 

Yet  pray  I  for  you,  God  and  saint  Luke  save  you. 

14  As  rich  as  a  new  shorne  sheepe. 

The  nexte  that  came  was  a  coryar 

And  a  cobelar,  his  brother, 

As  ryche  as  a  new  shorne  shepe. 

Co  eke  Lore  lies  Bote,  circa  1510. 

13  A  man  might  make  a  play,  &*€. 

The  meaning  of  this  passage  is  that  a  dramatist  who  repre- 
sented such  a  character  on  the  stage,  would  fill  the  house 
without  a  free  list,  making  even  his  own  friends  pay. 

The  "ground"  was  that  part  of  a  theatre  corresponding  to  the 
"  pit "  of  the  present  day,  and  the  pitites  were  consequently 
called  "  groundlings." 

The  stage  curtains  be  artificially  drawn,  and  so  covertly 
shrouded  that  the  squint-eyed  groundling  may  not  peep  in. — 
Lady  Alimony,  i.  i.. 

The  price  of  admission  was  one  penny. 

Tut,  give  me  the  penny,  give  me  the  penny — 
Let  me  have  a  good  ground. 

BEN  JONSON,  Case  is  Altered. 


And  here  is  all.     For  what  should  I  further  wade  ? 

I  was  neither  of  Court  nor  of  Counsaile  made. 

And  it  is,  as  I  have  learned  in  listening, 

A  poore  dog,  tliat  is  not  worth  the  whistling. 

A  day  ere  I  was  wed,  I  bad  you,  (quoth  I). 

Scarborough  warning  I  had  (quoth  he),  whereby 

I  kept  me  thence,  to  serve  thee  according ; 

And  now  if  this  nights  lodging  and  bording 

May  ease  thee,  and  rid  me  from  any  more  charge  ; 

Then  welcome,  or  els  get  thee  streight  at  large. 

For  of  further  reward,  marke  how  I  bost  me, 

In  case  as  ye  shall  yeeld  me  as  ye  cost  me, 

So  shall  ye  cost  me  as  ye  yeeld  me  likewise  ; 

Which  is,  a  thing  of  nought  rightly  to  surmise. 

Herewithall  his  wife  to  make  up  my  mouth, 

Not  onely  her  husbands  taunting  tale  avouth, 

But  thereto  deviseth  to  cast  in  my  teeth 

Checks  and  choking  oysters.     And  when  she  seeth 

Her  time  to  take  up,  to  shew  my  fare  at  best ; 

Ye  see  your  fare,  (sayd  she),  set  your  hart  at  rest. 

Fare  ye  well,  (quoth  I),  how  ever  I  fare  now, 

And  well  mote  ye  fare  both,  when  I  dine  with  you. 

Come,  goe  we  hence  friend,  (quoth  I  to  my  mate), 

And  now  will  I  make  a  crosse  on  this  gate. 

And  I,  (quoth  he),  crosse  thee  quite  out  of  my  booke, 

Since  thou  art  crosse  sailde,  avale  unhappie  hooke. 


By  hooke  or  crooke^  nought  could  I  win  there :  men  say, 

He  that  comtk  every  day  shall  have  a  cocknay  / 

He  that  cometh  now  and  then,  shall  have  a  fat  hen. 

But  I  gat  not  so  much  in  comming  seeld  when, 

As  a  good  hens  fether,  or  a  poore  egshell. 

As  good  play  for  nought  as  worke  for  nought,  folke  tell. 

Well  well,  (quoth  he),  we  be  but  where  we  were, 

Come  what  come  would,  I  thought  ere  we  came  there, 

That  if  the  worst  fell,  we  could  have  but  a  nay. 

There  is  no  harme  done,  man,  in  all  this  fray  ; 

Neither  pot  broken,  nor  water  spilt. 

Farewell  he,  (quoth  I),  I  will  as  soone  be  hilt, 

As  waite  againey  for  the  moonshine  in  the  watter. 

16  By  hooke  or  crooke. 

The  phrase  derives  its  origin  from  the  custom  of  certain 
manors  where  tenants  are  authorized  to  take  fire-bote  by  hook 
or  by  crook  j  that  is,  so  much  of  the  underwood  as  may  be  cut 
with  a  crook,  and  so  much  of  the  loose  timber  as  may  be  col- 
lected from  the  boughs  by  means  of  a  hook. 

The  story  of  the  two  arbitrators  Judge  Hook  and  Judge 
Crook,  who  sat  to  decide  rival  claims  to  property  after  the 
Great  Fire  of  London,  is  of  course  entirely  fallacious. 

One  of  the  earliest  instances  that  can  be  cited  is  from  one  of 
JOHN  WYCLIFFE'S  Controversial  Tracts,  written  circa  1370  : — 

J?ei  sillen  sacramentis,  as  ordris,  and  o£ere  spiritualte,  as 
halwyng  of  auteris,  of  churchis,  and  churche  ?erdis  ;  and  com- 
pellen  men  to  bie  alle  J?is  wij?  hok  or  crok. 

Again,  in  SKELTON'S  Colin  Clout,  1520  : — 
Nor  will  suffer  this  boke, 
By  hooke  or  by  crooke, 
Prynted  for  to  be. 


But  is  not  this  a  pretie  piked  matter  ? 

To  disdaine  me,  who  much  of  the  world  hoordeth  not, 

As  he  doth,  it  -may  rime  but  it  accordeth  not?1 

Shzfometh  like  a  bore,  the  beast  should  seeme  bolde  ; 

For  she  is  as  fierce  as  a  Lion  of  Cotsolde.^ 

She  frieth  in  her  owne  grease^  but  as  for  my  part, 

If  she  be  angrie,  beshrew  her  angrie  hart ! 

Friend,  (quoth  he),  he  may  shew  wisedome  at  will, 

That  with  angrie  hart  can  hold  his  tongue  still. 

Let  patience  grow  in  your  garden  alway. 

Some  loose  or  od  end  will  come,  man,  some  one  day, 

From  some  friend,  either  in  life  or  at  death. 

Death,  (quoth  I),  take  we  that  time  to  take  a  breath, 

Then  graffe  we  a  greene  graffe  on  a  rotten  roote  ; 

17  //  may  rime,  but  it  accordeth  not. 

It  may  wele  ryme  but  it  accordith  nought. 

MS.  poem  by  L YD  GATE,  "  On  Inconstancy'1 

18  As  fierce  as  a  Lion  of  Cotsolde* 
DAVIES,  in  one  of  his  Epigrams,  has  : — 

Carlus  is  as  furious  as  a  lyon  of  Cotsold. 
Again,  in  the  play  of  Sir  John  Oldcastle  : — 

You  stale  old  ruffian,  you  lion  of  Cotsolde. 
The  Cotswold  hills  in  Gloucestershire  were  famous  on  account 
of  the  number  of  sheep  fed  there  ;  hence  a  Cotswold  lion  meant 
a  Cotswold  sheep. 

19  She  frieth  in  her  owne  grease. 

But  certeynly  I  made  folk  such  chere 
That  in  his  owne  grees  I  made  him  frie. 

CHAUCER,  Prologue  of  Wyf  of  Bathe. 
Prince  Bismarck's  recent  application  of  the  saying  is  well  known. 


Who  waitefor  dead  men  shoen  shall  goe  long  barefooted 
Let  passe,  (quoth  he),  and  let  us  be  trudging, 
Where  some  nappie  ale  is  and  soft  sweet  lodging. 

1X^4.  t| 

Be  it,  (quoth  I),  but  I  would  very  faine  eate, 
At  breakfast  and  dinner  I  eate  little  meate, 

*      %&$: 

And  two  hungrie  meales  make  the  third  a  glutton. 

We  went  where  we  had  boyld  beefe  and  bakte  mutton, 

Whereof  I  fed  me  as  full  as  a  tunne  ; 

And  a  bed  were  we  ere  the  clock  had  nine  runne. 

Earely  we  rose,  in  haste  to  get  away, 

And  to  the  hostler  this  morning  by  day, 

This  fellow  calde.     What  how  fellow,  thou  knave, 

I  pray  thee  let  me  and  my  fellow  have 

A  haire  of  the  dog  that  bit  us1  last  night. 

And  bitten  were  we  both  to  the  braine  aright. 

20  Who  waitefor  dead  men  shoen  shall  go  e  long  barefooie. 

Nicholas.  You  may  speake  when  ye  are  spoken  to,  and  keepe 
your  winde  to  coole  your  pottage.  Well,  well,  you  are  my 
maister's  sbnne,  and  you  looke  for  his  lande  ;  but  they  that 
hope  for  dead  mens  shoes  may  hap  go  barefoote. — Two  angry 
Women  of  Abington,  1599. 

1  A  haire  of  the  dog  that  bit  us. 

In  old  receipt  books  we  find  it  invariably  advised  that  an  in- 
ebriate should  drink  sparingly  in  the  morning  some  of  the  same 
liquor  which  he  had  drunk  to  excess  over-night. 

Pepys  records,  under  April  3,  1661  :  — 

Up  among  my  workmen,  my  head  akeing  all  day  from  last 
night's  debauch.  At  noon  dined  with  Sir  W.  Batten  and  Pen, 
who  would  have  me  drink  two  good  draughts  of  sack  to-day,  to 
cure  me  of  my  last  night's  disease,  which  I  thought  strange,  but 
I  think  find  it  true. 

8o  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

We  saw  each  other  drunke  in  the  good  ale  glas, 

And  so  did  each  one  each  other  that  there  was, 

Save  one,  but  old  men  say  that  are  skild 

A  hard  foughten  field  where  no  man  scapeth  unkild. 

The  reckning  reckned,  he  needes  would  pay  the  shot? 

And  needes  he  must  for  me,  for  I  had  it  not. 

This  done  we  shooke  hands,  and  parted  in  fine ; 

He  into  his  way,  and  I  into  mine. 

But  this  journey  was  quite  out  of  my  way, 

Many  kinsfolke  and  few  friends,  some  folke  say ; 

But  I  finde  many  kinsfolke,  and  friend  not  one. 

Folke  say,  it  hath  been  sayd  many  yeares  since  gone ; 

Prove  thy  friend  ere  tJwu  have  need ;  but  in  deede, 

A  friend  is  never  knowne  till  a  man  Itave  neede. 

Before  I  had  neede,  my  most  present  foes 

Seemed  my  most  friends,  but  thus  the  world  goes. 

Every  man  basteth  the  fat  hog>  we  see  ; 

But  the  leane  shall  burne  ere  he  basted  bee. 

As  saith  this  sentence,  oft  and  long  sayd  before, 

He  that  hath  plentie  of  goods  shall  have  more  ; 

He  that  hath  but  a  little  he  shall  have  lesse. 

He  that  hath  right  nought,  right  nought  shall  possesse. 

Thus  having  right  nought  and  would  somewhat  obtaine, 

With  right  nought,  (quoth  he),  I  am  returned  againe. 

2  Pay  the  shot. 

Well  at  your  will  ye  shall  be  furnisht.     But  now  a  jugling 
tricke  to  pay  the  shot.— Kind  Harts  Dreame,  1592. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  81 


URELY,  (quoth  I),  ye  have  in  this  time  thus 


Made  a  long  harvest  for  a  little  corne. 
Howbeit,  comfort  your  selfe  with  this  old  text, 
That  telth  us ;  when  bale  is  hekst,  boote  is  next? 
Though  every  man  may  not  sit  in  the  chaire, 
Yet  alway  the  grace  of  God  is  worth  a  faire. 
Take  no  thought  in  case,  God  is  where  he  was, 
And  put  case4  in  povertie  all  your  life  pas. 

3  When  bale  is  hekst,  boote  is  next. 

Equivalent  to  saying  that  when  things  are  at  worst  they  begin 
to  mend. 

When  bale  is  greatest,  then  is  bote  a  nie  bore. 

CHAUCER,  Testament  of  Love. 

"When  the  bale  is  hest, 
Thenne  is  the  bote  nest," 
Quoth  Hendyng. 

Proverbs  of  Hendyng)  MS.  circa  1320. 

4  Put  case. 

An  idiomatic  expression  used  frequently  in  an  argument,  as, — 

Put  case  there  be  three  brethren,  John-a-Nokes,  John-a-Nash 
and  John-a- Stile. — Returnefrom  Parnassus,  1606. 


82  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Yet  povertie  and  poore  degree,  taken  well, 

Feedth  on  this  ;  he  that  never  climbde  never  fell. 

And  some  case  at  some  time  shewth  preefe  somewhere 

That  riches  bring  oft  harme  and  ever  fear e, 

Where  povertie  passeth  without  grudge  of  greefe. 

What  man  !  the  begger  may  sing  before  the  theefe. 

And  who  can  sing  so  merrie  a  note. 

As  may  he  that  cannot  change  a  grote  f 

Ye,  (quoth  he),  begger s  may  sing  before  theeves, 

And  weepe  before  true  men,  lamenting  their  greeves. 

Some  say,  and  I  feele,  hunger  pearceth  stone  wall? 

Meate,  nor  yet  money  to  buy  meate  withall, 

Have  I  not  so  much  as  may  hunger  defend 

Fro  my  wife  and  me.     Well,  (quoth  I ),  God  will  sen< 

Time  to  provide  for  time,  right  well  ye  shall  see. 

God  send  that  provision  in  time,  (sayd  hee). 

And  thus  seeming  welnie  wearie  of  his  life, 

The  poore  wretch  went  to  his  like  poore  wretched  wif( 

5  Hunger  pearceth  stone  wall. 

Menenius.  But,  I  beseech  you, 
What  says  the  other  troop  ? 

Martius.  They  are  dissolved  :  Hang  'em  ! 
They  said,  they  were  an-hungry  ;  sigh'd  forth  proverbs  ; — 
That,  hunger  broke  stone  walls  ;  that,  dogs  must  eat  ; 
That,  meat  was  made  for  mouths,  that,  the  Gods  sent  not 
Corn  for  the  rich  man  only  : — With  these  shreds 
They  vented  their  complainings.  Coriolanus,  i.  ] 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  83 

From  wantonnes  to  wretchednes,  brought  on  their  knees  ; 
Their  hearts  full  heavie,  their  heads  f  till  of  bees.6 
And  after  this  a  month,  or  somewhat  lesse, 
Their  Landlord  came  to  their  house  to  make  a  stresse  | 
For  rent,  to  have  kept  Bayard  in  the  stable. 
But  that  to  win,  any  power  was  unable. 
For  though  it  be  ill  playing  with  short  daggers, 
Which  meaneth,  that  every  wise  man  staggers, 
In  earnest  or  boord  to  be  busie  or  bold 
With  his  biggers  or  betters,  yet  this  is  tolde  ; 
Where  as  nothing  is,  the  King  must  lose  his  right. 
And  thus,  King  or  Keyser  must  have  set  them  quight. 
But  warning  to  depart  thence  they  needed  none  ;         «   A  {&*"*' 
For  ere  the  next  day  the  birds  were  flowne  each  one,  .*J\ 

To  seeke  service ;  of  which  where  the  man  was  sped, 
The  wife  could  not  speede,  but  maugre  her  hed, 
She  must  seeke  elsewhere.     For  either  there  or  nie, 
Service  for  any  suite  she  none  could  espie. 
All  folke  thought  them  not  onely  too  lither, 
To  linger  both  in  one  house  togither. 

6  Their  heads  full  of  bees. 

Means  to  project  schemes  ;  thus  differing  from  the  phrase 
"  to  have  a  bee  in  one's  bonnet,"  which  is  generally  intended  to 
denote  a  mild  form  of  craziness. 

But,  Wyll,  my  maister  hath  bees  in  his  head. 

Damon  and  Pithias,  1571. 

84  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

But  also  dwelling  nie  under  their  wings, 

Under  their  noses  they  might  convey  things, 

Such  as  were  neither  too  heavie  nor  too  hot, 

More  in  a  month  then  they  their  master  got 

In  a  whole  yeare.     Whereto  folke  further  weying, 

Receive  each  of  other  in  their  conveying, 

Might  be  worst  of  all.     For  this  proverb  preeves  ; 

Where  there  be  no  receivers,  there  be  no  tkeeves.1 

Such  hap  here  hapt,  that  common  dread  of  such  guiles 

Drove  them  and  keepth  them  asunder  many  miles. 

Thus  though  love  decree  departure  death  to  bee, 

^^ipovertie  parteth  fellowship  y  we  see  ; 

And  doth  those  two  true  lovers  so  dissever, 

That  meete  shall  they  seeld,  when,  or  haply  never. 

And  thus  by  love  without  regard  of  living, 

These  twaine  have  wrought  each  others  ill  chiving. 

And  love  hath  so  lost  them  the  love  of  their  friends, 

That  I  thinke  them  lost ;  and  thus  this  tale  ends. 

7  Where  there  be  no  receivers,  there  be  no  theeves. 

And  it  is  a  comon  sayinge,  ware  there  no  ryceyver  there  shoulde 
be  no  thefe.  So  ware  there  no  stewes,  there  shulde  not  so  many 
honeste  mennes  doughters  rune  awaye  from  there  fathers  and 
playe  the  whores  as  dothe.  —  A  Christen  exhortation  unto 
customable  swearers,  1^75. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  85 


sir,  (sayd  my  friend),  when  men  must  needes 


I  see  now  how  wisedomeand  haste  may  varry ; 
Namely  where  they  wed  for  love  altogither. 
I  would  for  no  good,  but  I  had  cqme  hither. 
Sweet  beautie  with  soure  beggerie  ?  nay,  I  am  gon 
To  the  wealthie  withered  widow,  by  Saint  John. 
What  yet  in  all  haste,  (quoth  I).     Yea,  (quoth  he), 
For  she  hath  substance  enough.     And  ye  see, 
That  lacke  is  the  losse  of  these  two  yong  fooles. 
Know  ye  not,  (quoth  I),  that  after  wise  mensschooles 
A  man  should  heare  all  parts  ere  he  judge  any  ? 
Why  are  ye  that,  (quoth  he)  ?  For  this,  (quoth  I) ; 
I  tolde  you,  when  I  this  began  that  I  would 
Tell  you  of  two  couples.    And  I  having  told 
But  of  the  tone,  ye  be  streight  starting  away, 
As  I  of  the  tother  had  right  nought  to  say, 
Or  as  your  selfe  of  them  right  nought  would  heare. 
Nay  not  allso,  (quoth  he),  but  since  I  thinke  cleare, 
There  can  no  way  appeare  so  painfull  a  life, 
Betweene  your  yong  neighbour  and  his  old  rich  wife, 
As  this  tale  in  this  yong  poore  couple  doth  show, 
And  that  the  most  good  or  least  ill  ye  know. 

86        PROVERBS    OF   JOHN    HEYWOOD. 

To  take  at  end,  I  was  at  beginning  bent, 

With  thankes  for  this  and  your  more  paine  to  prevent, 

Without  any  more  matter  now  revolved, 

I  take  this  matter  here  cleerely  resolved. 

And  that  ye  herein  award  me  to  forsake, 

Beggerly  brautie,  and  riveld  riches  take. 

That's  just,  if  the  halfe  shall  judge  the  whole,  (quoth  I) ; 

But  yet  heare  the  whole,  the  whole  wholly  to  try. 

To  it,  (quoth  he),  then  I  pray  you  by  and  by. 

We  will  dine  first,  (quoth  he),  it  is  noone  by. 

We  may  as  well,  (quoth  he),  dine  when  this  is  done ; 

The  longer  for enoone,  the  shorter  afternoone. 

All  comth  to  one,  and  thereby  men  have  gest ; 

Alway  the  longer  east,  the  shorter  west. 

We  have  had,  (quoth  I),  before  ye  came,  and  sin, 

Weather,  meete  to  sette  paddocks  abroode  in, 

Raine  more  then  enough  ;  and  when  all  shrews  have 


Change  from  foule  weather  to  fair e  is  oft  enclinde. 
And  all  the  shrews  in  this  part,  saving  one  wife 
That  must  dine  with  us,  have  dinde,  paine  of  my  life. 
Now  if  good  change  of  ill  weather  be  depending 
Upon  her  diet,  what  were  mine  offending, 
To  keepe  the  woman  any  longer  fasting  ? 
If  ye,  (quoth  he),   set  all  this  far  casting 
For  common  wealth,  as  it  appeareth  a  cleere  case, 
Reason  would  your  will  should  and  shall  take  place. 

PART     II. 


yNNER  cannot  be  long  where  dainties 

Where  coyne  is  not  comon,  comons  must 

be  scant, 

In  poste  pase  we  past  from  potage  to  cheese, 
And  yet  this  man  cride,  alas  what  time  we  leese. 
He  would  not  let  us  pause  after  our  repaste, 
But  apart  he  pluckt  me  streight,  and  in  all  haste, 
As  I  of  this  poore  yong  man  and  poore  yong  maide, 
Or  more  poore  yong  wife,  the  foresaid  words  had  saide, 
So  praieth  he  me  now  the  processe  may  be  told, 
Betweene  th'other  yong  man,  and  the  rich  widowe  old. 
If  yee  lacke  that,  (quoth  I),  away  ye  must  winde, 
With  your  whole  errand,  and  halfe  th'  answer  behinde. 
Which  thing  to  doe,  sens  hast  thereto  shewth  you  loth 

88  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

And  to  hast  your  going,  the  day  away  goth, 
And  that  time  lost,  againe  we  cannot  win, 
Without  more  losse  of  time,  this  tale  I  begin. 

In  this  late  olde  widowe,  and  then  olde  new  wife, 

Age  and  appetite  fell  at  a  strong  strife. 

Her  lust  was  as  yong  as  her  lims  were  olde. 

The  day  of  her  wedding,  liken  one  to  be  solde, 

She  set  out  her  selfe  in  fine  apparell. 

She  was  made  like  a  beere  pot,  or  a  barrell. 

A  crooked  hookde  nose,  beetle  browde,  blere  eyed. 

Many  men  wisht,  for  beautifyng  that  bryde, 

Her  waste  to  be  gyrde  in,  and  for  a  boone  grace, 

Some  well  favourd  visor,  on  her  ill  favourd  face. 

But  with  visorlike  visage,  such  as  it  was, 

Shee  smirkt,  and  she  smilde ;  but  so  lisped  this  las, 

That  folke  might  have  thought  it  done,  onely  alone 

Of  wantonnesse,  had  not  her  teeth  been  gone. 

Upright  as  a  candell  standth  in  a  socket, 

Stoode  she  that  day,  so  simper  decocket? 

Of  auncient  fathers  she  tooke  nb  cure  nor  care, 

8  So  simper  decocket. 

And  gray  russet  rocket 
With  simper  the  cocket. 

SKELTON,  The  Tunnyng  of  Elynoure 

Rummy  ng)  1520, 
The  word  means  a  coquettish  girl. 


She  was  to  them,  as  koy  as  Croker's  mare. 

She  tooke  th'  entertainment  of  the  yong  men 

All  in  daliaunce,  as  nice  as  a  nunnes  hen? 

I  suppose  that  day  her  eares  might  well  glow, 

For  all  the  towne  talkt  of  her  hie  and  low. 

One  sayd  ;  a  well  favourd  olde  woman  she  is  ; 

The  divell  she  is,  saide  another ;  and  to  this, 

In  came  the  third,  with  his  five  egges,  and  sayde  ; 

Fiftie  yere  a  goe  I  knew  her  a  trym  mayde. 

What  ever  she  were  then,  (said  one),  she  is  now 

To  become  a  bryde,  as  meete  as  a  sow 

9  As  nice  as  a  nunnes  hen. 

This  proverb  appears  to  have  been  in  use  a  century  previous 
to  Heywood. 

Women,  women,  love  of  women, 
Make  bare  purs  with  some  men. 
Some  be  nyse  as  a  nonne  hene, 

Yet  al  thei  be  not  soo  ; 
Some  be  lewde,  some  all  be  schrewde, 

Go  schrewes  wher  thei  goo. 

Satirical  Verses  on  Women,  14.62. 

I  knewe  a  priest  that  was  as  nice  as  a  Nonnes  Henne. — 
WILSON'S  Arte  of  Rhetorique,  1562. 

Another  virtue  is  ascribed  to  this  kind  of  poultry  by  the  old 
writers, — 

I  have  the  taught  dyvysyon  between 
Frende  of  effect,  and  frende  of  countenaunce  ; 
The  nedeth  not  the  gall  of  none  hen 
That  cureth  eyen. 

Proverbes  of  Lydgate,  circa  1520. 

go  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

To  beare  a  saddle.     She  is  in  this  manage 

As  comely  as  is  a  cowe  in  a  cage. 

Gup,  with  a  galde  backe,  gill,  come  up  to  supper. 

What,  mine  olde  mare  would  have  a  new  crupper ! 

And  now  mine  olde  hat  must  have  a  new  band  ! 

Well  (quoth  one)  glad  is  he  that  hath  her  in  hand ; 

A  goodly  mariage  she  is,  I  heare  say. 

She  is  so,  (quoth  one),  were  the  woman  away. 

Well,  (quoth  another),  fortune  this  moveth  ; 

And  in  this  case,  every  man  as  he  loveth 

Quoth  the  good  man,  when  that  he  kist  his  cowe. 

That  kisse,  (quoth  one),  doth  well  here,  by  .God  a  vowe  ; 

But  how  can  she  give  a  kisse  sowre  or  sweete  ? 

Her  chin  and  her  nose  within  halfe  an  inche  meete. 

God  is  no  botcher,  sir,  sayd  another  ; 

He  shapeth  all  parts,  as  eche  part  may  fit  other. 

Well,  (quoth  one),  wisely  ;  let  us  leave  this  scanning. 

God  speed e,  be  as  be  may  is  no  banning. 

That  shalbe,  shalbe  ;  and  with  god's  grace  they  shall 

Doe  well,  and  that  they  so  may,  wish  wee  all. 

This  wonder,  (as  wonders  last),  lasted  nine  daies.™ 
Which  done,  and  all  gests  of  this  feast  gone  their  waies, 

10  This  wonder  .  .  .  lasted  nine  dates. 

The  reason  for  assigning  nine  days  as  the  period  of  duration  is 


Ordinary  houshold  this  man  streight  began 
Very  sumptuously,  which  he  might  well  doe  than. 
What  he  would  have,  he  might  have ;  his  wife  was  set 
In  such  dotage  of  him,  that  faire  words  did  fet 
Gromel-seede  plenty  ;  and  pleasure  to  prefer, 
Shee  made  much  of  him,  and  he  mockt  much  of  her. 
I  was,  (as  I  said),  much  there,  and  most  of  all, 
The  first  month,  in  which  time  such  kindnesse  did  fall 
Betweene  these  two  counterfaite  turtle  burds. 
To  see  his  sweete  looke,  and  heare  her  sweete  wurds, 
And  to  thinke  wherefore  they  both  put  both  in  ure, 
It  would  have  made  a  horse  breake  his  halter  sure. 
All  the  first  fortnight  their  tickyng  might  have  tought 
Any  yong  couple  their  love  trickes  to  have  wrought. 
Some  laught,  and  sayd  ;  all  thing  is  gay  that  is  greene. 
Some  thereto  said  ;  new  brome  swepth  cleene. 
But  since  all  thing  is  the  woorse  for  the  wearing, 
Decay  of  cleane  sweeping  folke  had  in  fearing. 
And  in  deede,  ere  two  monthes  away  were  crept, 
And  her  biggest  bagges  into  his  bosome  swept : 

not  ascertained,  but  the  proverb  is  traced  to  the  works  of 

Eke  wonder  last  but  nine  deies  never  in  town. 

CHAUCER,  Troilus  and  Creseide. 

A  book  on  any  subject  by  a  peasant,  or  a  peer,  is  no  longer  so 
much  as  a  nine-days  wonder.— ASCHAM'S  Schoole-master. 

92  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Where  love  had  appeared  in  him  to  her  away 
Hot  as  a  toste,  it  grewe  cold  as  kay^ 
Hee  at  meate  carving  her,  and  none  els  before, 
Now  carved  he  to  all  but  her,  and  to  her  no  more. 
Where  her  words  seemde  hony,  by  his  smiling  cheare, 
Now  are  they  mustard,  he  frowneth  them  to  heare. 
And  when  shee  sawe  sweete  sauce  began  to  ware  sowre, 
She  waxt  as  sowre  as  he,  and  as  well  could  lowre. 
So  turned  they  their  tippets1*  by  way  of  exchaunge, 
From  laughing  to  lowring,  and  taunts  did  so  raunge  ; 
That  in  plaine  termes,  plaine  truth  to  you  to  utter, 
They  two  agreed  like  two  cats  in  a  gutter. 
Mary  sir,  (quoth  he),  by  scratching  and  biting. 
Cats  and  dogs  come  together,  by  folks  reciting. 
Together  by  the  eares  they  come,  (quoth  I),  cheerely. 
How  be  it  those  wordes  are  not  voide  here  cleerely  ; 
For  in  one  state  they  twaine  could  not  yet  settle, 

11  Cold  as  kay. 

Poor  key-cold  figure  of  a  holy  king. 

Richard  III.  i.  2. 

12  So  turned  they  their  tippets. 

"To  turn  tippet  "meant,  and  means,  to  make  a  complete  change. 
Now  it  is  applied  to  one  going  over  to  an  adversary  ;  formerly 
it  was  usually  said  of  a  maid  becoming  a  wife. 

Another  Bridget ;  one  that  for  a  face 
Would  put  down  Vesta  ; 
You  to  turn  tippet ! 

BEN  JONSON,  Case  is  Altered. 



But  wavering  as  the  winde  ;  in  docke,  out  nettle™ 
Now  in,  now  out ;  now  here,  now  there  ;  now  sad, 
Now  mery  ;  now  hie,  now  lowe  ;  now  good,  now  bad. 
In  which  unstedy  sturdy  stormes  streinabl'e, 
To  know  how  they  both  were  irrefreynable, 
Marke  how  they  fell  out,  and  how  they  fell  in, 
At  end  of  a  supper  shee  did  thus  begin. 

13  In  do  eke,  out  nettle. 

A  charm  for  a  nettle  sting  which  had  early  passed  into  a  proverb 
expressive  of  inconstancy. 

Ye  wete  well  Ladie  eke  (quoth  I)  that  I  have  not  plaid  racket, 
Nettle  in,  Docke  out,  and  with  this  the  weathercocke  waved. — 
CHAUCER,  Testament  of  Love. 

Is  this  my  in  dock,  out  nettle  ? 
MIDDLETON,  More  Dissemblers  besides  Women. 

94  THE    PROVERBS    OF 


( USBAND,  (quoth  shee),  I  would  we  were  in 

our  nest; 
When  the  belly  is  full,  the  bones  would  be 

at  rest. 

So  soone  uppon  supper,  (sayd  he),  no  question, 
Sleepe  maketh  ill  and  unholsome  digestion. 
By  that  diet  a  great  disease  once  I  gat ; 
And  burnt  child  fire  dredth  ; 14  I  will  beware  of  that. 
What  a  post  of  phisicke,  (sayd  shee),  yee  a  post. 
And  from  post  to  piller^  wife,  I  have  been  tost 

14  Burnt  child  fire  dredth. 

Timon.  Why  urge  yee  me  ?  my  hart  doth  boyle  with  heate, 
And  will  not  stoope  to  any  of  your  lures  : 
A  burnt  childe  dreads  the  ffyre. — Timon,  circa  1590. 

So  that  child  withdraweth  is  hond, 
From  the  fur  ant  the  brond, 

That  hath  byfore  bue  brend. 
"  Brend  child  fur  dredth," 

Quoth  Hendyng. 

Proverbs  of  Hendyng,  MS.  circa  1320. 

15  From  post  to  filler. 

Meletya.  Sister,  is  not  your  waighting- wench  rich  ? 

Celia.  Why,  sister,  why  ? 

Meletya.  Because  she  can  flatter,  Pree-thee  call  her  not.     She 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  95 

By  that  surfet.     And  I  feele  a  little  fyt 

Even  now,  by  former  attempting  of  it. 

Whereby,  except  I  shall  seeme  to  leave  my  wit 

Before  it  leave  me,  I  must  now  leave  it. 

I  thanke  God,  (quoth  shee),  I  never  yet  felt  paine 

To  goe  to  bed  timely,  but  rising  againe, 

Too  soone  in  the  morning,  hath  mee  displeased. 

And  I,  (quoth  he),  have  been  more  diseased 

By  earely  liyng  downe,  then  by  early  rising. 

But  thus  differ  folke  lo,  in  exercysing ; 

That  one  may  not,  an  other  may. 

Use  maketh  maistry  ;  and  men  many  times  say, 

That  one  loveth  not,  an  other  doth ;  which  hath  sped, 

A II  meates  to  be  eaten  and  all  maides  to  be  wed. 

Haste  ye  to  bed  now,  and  rise  ye  as  readie, 

While  I  rise  earely  and  come  to  bed  late. 

Long  lying  warme  in  bed  is  holesome,  (quoth  shee). 

While  the  leg  warmeth,  the  boote  harmeth,^  (quoth  he). 
Well,  (quoth  shee),  he  that  doth  as  most  men  do, 

Shalbe  least  wondred  on,  and  take  any  two, 

has  twenty-four  houres  to  maddam  yet,  Come  you,  you  prate, 
y  faith,  lie  tosse  you  from  post  to  piller  ! — MARSTON'S  What  you 
Will,  1607. 

16   While  the  leg  warmeth,  the  boote  harmeth. 

Whan  the  scho  harmt  the  fot  war  .  .  . 

MS.  Harleian,  circa  1490. 

96  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

That  be  man  and  wife  in  all  this  whole  towne, 
And  most  part  together  they  rise  and  lie  downe. 
When  birds  shall  roost,  (quoth  he),  at  viii,  ix,  or  ten, 
Who  shall  appoynt  their  houre,  the  cock  or  the  hen  ? 
The  hen,  (quoth  shee) ;  the  cocke,  (quoth  he) ;  just, 

(quoth  she), 

As  Jermans  lips.11     It  shall  prove  more  just  (quoth  he). 
Then  prove  I,  (quoth  shee),  the  more  foole  far  away  ; 
But  there  is  no  foole  to  the  old  foole ',18  folke  say. 
Ye  are  wise  inough,  (quoth  he),  if  ye  keepe  ye  warme. 
To  be  kept  warme,  and  for  none  other  harme, 
Nor  for  much  more  good,  I  tooke  you  to  wed. 
I  tooke  not  you,  (quoth  he),  night  and  day  to  bed. 
Her  carraine  carkas,  (sayd  hee),  is  so  cold, 
Because  shee  is  aged,  and  somewhat  too  old, 

17  Just  .  .  .  as  Jennans  lips. 

As  just  as  German's  lips,  which  came  not  together  by  nine 
mile. — LATIMER;S  Remaines* 

Agree  like  Dogge  and  Catte,  and  meete  as  just  as  Germans 
lippes. — GOSSON'S  Schole  of  Abuse. 

18  No  foole  to  the  old  foole. 

Comedie  upon  comedie  he  shall  have  ;  a  morall,  a  historic,  a 
tragedie,  or  what  he  will.  One  shal  be  called  the  Doctor's 
dumpe  .  .  .  and  last  a  pleasant  Enter lude  of  No  Foole  to  the 
Olde  Foole,  with  a  jigge  at  the  latter  end  in  English  hexameters 
of  0  Neighbour  Gabriell! !  and  his  wooing  of  Kate  Cotton. — 
N  ASH'S  Have  with  you  to  Saffron  Walden,  1 596. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  97 

That  shee  kilth  mee.     I  doe  but  roste  a  stone?* 

In  warming  her.     And  shall  not  I  save  one, 

As  shee  would  save  an  other  ?  yes  by  seint  Johne. 

A  syr,  (quoth  shee),  mary  this  geare  is  alone. 

Who  that  worst  may  shall  holde  the  candell ;  I  see ; 

I  must  warme  bed  for  him  should  warme  it  for  mee. 

This  medicine  thus  ministred  is  sharpe  and  cold  ; 

But  all  things  that  is  sharpe  is  short,  folke  have  told. 

This  trade  is  now  b[e]gun,  but  if  it  holde  on, 

Then  farewell  my  good  dayes,  they  will  be  soone  gon. 

Gospell  in  thy  mouth,  (quoth  hee),  this  strife  to  breake  ! 

How  be  it,  all  is  not  Gospell  that  thou  doest  speake. 

But  what  neede  we  lumpe  out  love  at  ones  lashing, 

As  wee  should  now  shake  handes  ?    what !    soft  for 


Thefayre  lasteth  all  the  year e.     We  be  new  knit, 
And  so  late  met,  that  I  feare  wee  part  not  yit; 
Quoth  the  baker  to  the pilory.     Which  thing, 
From  distemperate  fonding,  temperance  may  bring. 
And  this  reason  to  aide  and  make  it  more  strong, 

19  Roste  a  stone. 

They  may  garlicke  pill 
Gary  sackes  to  the  mil 
Or  pescoddes  they  may  shil 
Or  els  go  roste  a  stone. 

SKELTON'S  Why  come  ye  not  to  Court?  1520.' 


98  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Old  wise  folke  say  ;  love  me  litle,  love  me  long™ 

I  say  little,  (sayd  shee),  but  I  thinke  more ; 

Thought  is  free  ^   Ye  leane,  (quoth  he),  to  the  wrong  shore. 
(Brauling  booted  not,  he  was  not  that  night  bent 
i  To  play  the  bridegroome.     Alone  to  bed  shee  went, 

This  was  their  beginning  of  jar.     How  be  it, 

For  a  beginning,  this  was  a  feate  fit, 

And  but  a  fleabiting  to  that  did  ensew. 

The  worst  is  behinde.     We  come  not  where  it  grewe. 

How  say  you,  (sayd  he  to  me),  by  my  wife  ? 

The  divell  hath  cast  a  bone,  (sayd  I),  to  set  strife 

Betweene  you,  but  it  were  a  folly  for  me, 

To  put  my  hand  betweene  the  barke  and  the  tree, 

Or  to  put  my  finger  too  far  in  the  fire, 

Betweene  you,  and  lay  my  credite  in  the  mire. 

20  Love  me  litle,  love  me  long. 

Bellamira.  Come,  gentle  Ithamore,  lie  in  my  lap. 
Ithamore.  Love  me  little,  love  me  long  ;  let  music  rumble, 
Whilst  I  in  thy  incony  lap  do  tumble. 

MARLOWE'S  Jew  of  Malta,  iv. 

21  Thought  is  free. 

Since  thought  is  free,  thinke  what  thou  will, 

O  troubled  hart  to  ease  thy  paine  ! 
Thought  unrevealed  can  do  no  evill, 

Bot  wordes  past  out,  cummes  not  againe. 
Be  cairefull  aye  for  to  invent 
The  waye  to  gett  thy  owen  intent. 

Poem  by  James  /. — MS.  Add.  24,195. 


To  meddle  litle  for  mee  it  is  best ; 

For  of  litle  medling  commeth  great  rest?* 

Yes,  yee  may  meddle,  (quoth  hee),  to  make  hir  wise, 

Without  taking  harme,  in  giving  your  advice. 

She  knoweth  mee  not  yet,  but  if  shee  ware  to  wilde, 

I  shall  make  hir  know,  an  old  knave  is  no  childe. 

Slugging  in  bed  with  her  is  worse  than  watching. 

I  promise  you,  an  olde  sacke  asketh  much  patching. 

Well,  (quoth  I),  to  morowe  I  will  to  my  beades, 

To  pray,  that  as  ye  both  will  so  ake  your  heades, 

And  in  meane  time  my  aking  head  to  cease, 

I   will   couch   a   hogs  head.      Quoth  he,   when   yee 


Wee  parted,  and  this,  within  a  day  or  twayne, 
Was  rakte  up  in  th'  ashes  and  covered  agayne. 

22  Of  litle  medling  commeth  great  rest. 

Payne  the  not  eche  croked  to  redresse 
In  truste  of  her  that  turneth  as  a  ball  : 
Crete  reste  stande  in  lytell  besynesse, 
Beware  also  to  sporne  against  a  wall. 

Proverbes  of  Lydgate. 



;  HESE  two  dayes  past,  hee  sayd  to  mee,  when 

ye  will, 
Come  chat  at  home,  all  is  well ;  Jacke  shall 

have  Gill 

Who  had  the  worse  end  of  the  staff e,  (quoth  I),  now  ? 
Shall  the  mayster  weare  a  breeche^  or  none,  say  you  ? 
I  trust  the  sowe  will  no  more  so  deepe  wroote  ; 
But  if  shee  doe,  (quoth  he),  you  must  set  in  foote : 
And  whom  yee  see  out  of  the  way,  or  shoote  wide, 
Over  shoote  not  your  selfe  any  side  to  hide. 
But  shoote  out  some  wordes,  if  she  be  too  hot. 
Shee  may  say,  (quoth  I),  a  fooles  bolt  is  soone  shot" 

Weare  a  breeche. 

All  women  be  suche, 

Thoughe  the  man  here  the  breeche, 

They  wyll  be  ever  checkemate. 

The  Boke  of  May d  Emlyn,.  1515. 
A  fooles  bolt  is  soone  shot. 

Sot  is  sot,  and  that  is  sene ; 
For  he  wel  speke  wordes  grene, 

Er  ther  hue  buen  rype. 
"  Sottes  bolt  is  sone  shote," 

Quoth  Hendyng. 

Proverbs  of  Hendyng^  MS.  circa  1320. 

JOHN    HEYWOGD.  101 

Yee  will  mee  to  a  thankelesse  office  heere, 

And  a  busy  officer  I  may  appeere ; 

And  Jacke  out  of  office3  she  may  bid  me  walke, 

And  thinke  me  as  wise  as  Waltams  calfe?  to  talke, 

Or  chat  of  her  charge,  having  therein  nought  to  do. 

How  be  it,  if  I  see  neede,  as  my  part  comth  too, 

Gladly  betweene  you  I  will  doe  my  best. 

I  bid  you  to  dinner,  (quoth  hee),  as  no  guest, 

And  bring  your  poore  neighbors  on  your  other  side.  I 

I  did  so.     And  streight  as  th'  old  Wife  us  espide, 

3  Jacke  out  of  office. 

For  liberalitie  is  tourned  Jacke  out  of  office,  and  others  ap- 
pointed to  have  [the  custodie. — RICH'S  Farewell  to  Militarie 
Profession,  1581. 

4  As  wise  as  Waltams  calfe. 

For  Waltham's  calves  to  Tiburne  needes  must  go 
To  sucke  a  bull  and  meete  a  butchers  axe. 

The  Braineles  blessing  of  the  Bull,  1571. 

In  SKELTON'S  Colin  Clout,  1520,  an  unsanctimonious  divine 
is  thus  pourtrayed  : 

As  wyse  as  Waltom's  calfe, 
Must  preche,  a  Goddes  halfe, 
In  the  pulpy t  solempnely  ; 
More  mete  in  the  pyllory, 
For,  by  saynt  Hyllary, 
He  can  nothyng  smatter 
Of  logyke  nor  scole  matter. 

Ray  gives,  "  As  wise  as  Walthams  calf,  that  ran  nine  miles  to 
suck  a  bull." 

102  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Shee  bad  us  welcome  and  merrily  toward  me ; 

Greene  rushes  for  this  stranger,5  strew  here,  (quoth  shee), 

With  this  apart  she  puld  me  by  the  sleeve, 

Saying  in  fewe  words,  my  mind  to  you  to  meeve  ; 

So  it  is,  that  all  our  great  fray  the  last  night, 

Is  forgiven  and  forgotten  betweene  us  quight. 

And  all  fraies  by  this  I  trust  have  taken  end  ; 

For  I  fully  hope  my  husband  will  amend. 

Well  amended,  (thought  I),  when  yee  both  relent, 

Not  to  your  owne,  but  ech  to  others  mendment. 

Now  if  hope  faile,  (quoth  she),  and  chaunce  bring  about 

Any  such  breach,  whereby  wee  fall  againe  out, 

I  pray  you,  tel  him  he  is  perverse  now  and  than, 

And  winke  on  me.     Also  hardly,  if  yee  can 

Take  me  in  any  trip.     Quoth  I,  I  am  loth 

To  meddle  commonly.     For  as  this  tale  goth  ; 

Who  medleth  in  all  thing,  may  shoe  the  gosling^ 

5  Greene  rushes  for  this  stranger. 

It  was  usual,  before  the  introduction  of  carpets,  to  strew  rushes 
on  the  floors  of  dwelling-houses  ;  and  on  the  entrance  of  a  visitor, 
hospitality  required  that  they  should  be  renewed. 

Where  is  this  stranger  ?    Rushes,  ladies,  rushes  : 
Rushes  as  green  as  summer  for  this  stranger. 

BEAUMONT  AND  FLETCHER,  Valentinian,  ii.  4. 

6  Who  medleth  in  all  thing,  may  shoe  the  gosling. 

To  shoe  the  goose  (gosling  here  for  the  sake  of  rhyme)  means 
simply  to  perform  a  work  of  supererogation.  An  inscription  on 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  103 

Well,  (quoth  shee),  your  medling  herein  may  be 
The  winde  calme  betweene  us,  when  it  els  might  rage. 
I  will  with  good  will,  (quoth  I),  ill  windes  to  swage, 
Spend  some  winde  at  need,  though  I  waste  wind  in 


To  table  we  sat,  where  fine  fare  did  remaine. 
Merry  we  were  as  cup  and  can  could  holde, 
Each  one  with  each  other  homely  and  bolde. 
And  she  for  her  part,  made  us  cheere  heaven  hie. 
The  first  part  of  dinner  merry  as  a  pie? 
But  a  scald  head  is  soone  broken  ;  and  so  they, 
As  ye  shall  straight  heare,  fell  at  a  new  frey. 

one  of  the  stalls  of  Whalley  Church  of  the  date  1434  goes  far  to 
show  the  antiquity  of  the  proverb  : 

Whoso  melles  of  wat  men  dos, 
Let  hym  cum  hier  and  shoo  the  ghos. 
And  in  Colin  Clout,  1510  : 

What  hath  lay  men  to  do 
The  gray  goose  for  to  sho  ! 

In  connection  with  this  proverb  may  be  mentioned  another 
much  on  the  same  model,  occurring  in  the  Hundred  Mery  Talys, 
circa  1525  : 

It  is  as  great  pyte  to  se  a  woman  wepe  as  a  gose  to  go  barefote, 

and  reappearing  in  a  new  dress  in  Sir  Walter  Scott's  novel, "  Rob 

Roy,"  where  it  is  thus  put  into  the  mouth  of  Bailie  Nicol  Jarvie  : 

It's  nae  mair  ferlie  to  see  a  woman  greet  than  to  see  a  goose 

gang  barefit. 

7  Merry  as  a  pie. 

Eyre.  By  the  Lord  of  Ludgate,  my  Liege,  111  be  as  merrie  as 
a  Pie. — DECKER'S  Shomakers  Holiday,  1600. 

104  THE    PROVERBS    OF 


,  USBAND,  (quoth  she),  ye  studie,  be  merrie 


And  even  as  ye  thinke  now,  so  come  to  yow. 
Nay  not  so,  (quoth  he),  for  my  thought  to  tell  right, 
I  thinke  how  you  lay  groning,  wife,  all  last  night. 
Husband,  a  groning  horse  and  a  groning  ivife 
Never  faile  their  master,  (quoth  she),  for  my  life. 
No  wife,  a  woman  hath  nine  lives  like  a  cat. 
Well,  my  lambe,  (quoth  she),  ye  may  pick  out  of  that, 
As  soone  goth  the yong  lambe  skin  to  the  market 
As  th  old y ewes?     God  forbid,  wife,  ye  shall  first  jet. 
I  will  not  jet  yet,  (quoth  she),  put  no  doubting ; 
//  is  a  bad  sack  that  will  abide  no  clouting. 
And  as  we  oft  see,  the  looth  stake  standeth  long, 
So  it  is  an  ill  stake,  I  have  heard  among, 
That  cannot  stand  one  year e  in  a  hedge. 
I  drinke,  (quoth  she).     Quoth  he,  I  will  not  pledge. 
What  neede  all  this,  a  man  may  love  his  house  well, 

8  As  soone  goth  the  yong  lambe  skin,  Q^c. 

It  is  a  common  saying  there  do  come  as  many  skins  of  calves 
to  the  market  as  there  do  of  bulls  or  kine. — BARCLAY'S  Ship  of 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  105 

Tfwug/i  he  ride  not  on  the  ridge  ;  I  have  heard  tell. 
What,  I  weene,  (quoth  she),  proferd  service  stinketh? 
But  somewhat  it  is,  I  see,  when  the  cat  winketh, 
And  both  her  eyen  out,  but  further  strife  to  shunne, 
Let  the  cat  winke,  and  let  the  mouse  runne. 
This  past,  and  he  cheered  us  all,  but  most  cheere 
On  his  part,  to  this  fayre  yong  wife  did  appeare. 
And  as  he  to  her  cast  oft  a  loving  eye, 
So  cast  her  husband  like  eye  to  his  plate  by. 
Wherewith  in  a  great  musing  he  was  brought. 
Friend,  (quoth  the  good  man),  apeny  for  your  thought  ?10 
For  my  thought,  (quoth  he),  that  is  a  goodly  dish : 
But  of  troth  I  thought ;  better  to  have  then  wish. 
What,  a  goodly  yong  wife,  as  you  have,  (quoth  he)  ? 
Nay,  (quoth  he),  gooldly  gilt  goblets,  as  here  be. 
Bir  Ladie  friends,  (quoth  I),  this  maketh  a  show, 
To  shew  you  more  unnaturall  then  the  crow ; 

9  Proferd  service  stinketh. 

In  Vulgaria  Slambrigi,  1510. 

10  A.  petty  for  your  thought. 

Me  thinke,  Euphues,  chaunging  so  your  colour  upon  the  so- 
deine,  you  wil  soone  chaunge  your  coppie  :  is  your  minde  on  your 
meate  ?  a  penny  for  your  thought. 

Mistres  (quoth  he)  if  you  would  by  al  my  thoughts  at  that 
price,  I  should  never  be  wearye  of  thinking,  but  seeing  it  is  too 
deare,  reade  it  and  take  it  for  nothing. — Euphues.  The  Anatomy 
of  Wit,  1579- 

io6  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

The  crow  thinkth  her  owne  birds  fairest  in  the  wood.n 
But  by  your  words,  (except  I  wrong  understood), 
Each  others  birds  or  jewels,  you  doe  wey 
Above  your  owne.     True,  (quoth  the  old  wife),  ye  sey. 
But  my  neighbours  desire  rightly  to  measure, 
Comth  of  neede,  and  not  of  corrupted  pleasure  ; 
And  my  husbands  more  of  pleasure,  than  of  neede. 
Old  fish  and  yong  flesh,  (quoth  he),  doth  men  best  feede. 
And  some  say ;  change  of  pasture  makth  fat  calves™ 
As  for  that  reason,  (quoth  she),  runneth  to  halves, 
As  well  for  the  cow  calfe  as  for  the  bull. 
And  though  your  pasture  looke  barrenly  and  dull, 
Yet  looke  not  on  the  meate,  but  looke  on  the  man. 
And  who  so  looketh  on  you,  shall  shortly  skan. 

11  The  crow  thinkth  her  owne  birds  fairest  in  the  wood. 

It  must  needs  be  good  ground  that  brings  forth  such  good  corne ; 
When  I  look  on  him,  methinks  him  to  be  evill  favoured, 
Yet  the  crowe  thinkes  her  black  birds  of  all  other  the  fairest. 

LUPTON'S  All  for  Money,  1578. 

12  Change  of  pasture  makthfat  calves. 

Honeysuckle.  Now  I'm  as  limber  as  an  ancient  that  has 
flourished  in  the  rain,  and  as  active  as  a  Norfolk  tumbler. 

Boniface.  You  may  see  what  change  of  pasture  is  able  to  do. 

Honeysuckle.  It  makes  fat  calves  in  Romney  Marsh,  and  lean 
knaves  in  London,  therefore  Boniface,  keep  your  ground.  God's 
my  pity,  my  forehead  has  more  crumples  than  the  back  part  of 
a  counsellor's  gown,  when  another  rides  upon  his  necke  at  the 
bar.— WEBSTER'S  Westward  Hoe. 

JOHN    HEYWOOD.  107 

Ye  may  write  to  your  friends  that  ye  are  in  health  ; 

But  all  thing  may  be  sufTred  saving  wealth. 

An  old  said  saw ;  itch  and  ease  can  no  man  please. 

Plentie  is  no  daintie  ;  ye  see  not  your  owne  ease. 

I  see,  you  cannot  see  the  wood  for  freest 

Your  lips  hang  in  your  light ;  but  this  poore  man  sees, 

Both  how  blindly  you  stand  in  your  owne  light, 

And  that  you  rose  on  your  right  side  here  right, 

And  might  have  gone  further  and  have  fared  worse. 

I  wot  well  I  might,  (quoth  he),  for  the  purse ; 

But  ye  be  a  babie  of  BelzabuUs  bowre. 

Content  ye,  (quoth  she),  take  the  sweet  with  the  sowre  ; 

Fancy  may  boult  bran,  and  make  yee  take  itfloure. 

It  will  not  be,  (quoth  he),  should  I  die  this  houre, 

While  this  fayre  floure  flourisheth  thus  in  mine  eie. 

Yes,  it  might,  (quoth  shee),  and  here  this  reason  whye. 

Snow  is  white,  \   A     , 

\  And  every  man  lets  it  lye. 

And  lieth  in  the  dike.  J 

13   You  cannot  see  the  wood  for  trees. 

Continued  proverbial,  being  found  in  an  anti -popish  tract  of  the 
reign  of  Charles  II. 

From  him  who  sees  no  wood  for  trees 
And  yet  is  busie  as  the  bees 
From  him  that's  settled  on  his  lees 
And  speaketh  not  without  his  fees, 
Libera  nos. 

A  Letany  for  S.  0 triers,  1682. 

io8  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Pepper  is  blacke  ") 

\  And  every  man  doth  it  bie. 
And  hath  a  good  smack.  J 

Milke,  (quoth  he),  is  white,  "i  But  all  men  know  it  good 

And  lieth  not  in  the  dike.    3      meate. 

Inke  is  all  blacke,  "j  No  man  will  it  drinke  nor 

And  hath  an  ill  smacke.  J      eate. 

Thy  ryme,  (quoth  hee),  is  much  elder  then  mine, 

But  mine  being  newer  is  truer  then  thine. 

Thou  liken est  now  for  a  vaine  advauntage, 

White  snow  to  faire  youth,  blacke  pepper  to  foule  age 

Which  are  placed  out  of  place  heere  by  the  rood, 

Blacke  inke  is  as  ill  meate,  as  blacke  pepper  is  good. 

And  white  milke  is  good  meat,  as  white  snow  is  ill. 

But  a  milke  snow  white  smooth  yong  skin,  who  chaunge 


For  a  pepper  inke  rough  olde  withred  face  ? 
Though  chaunge  bee  no  robbry  for  the  chaunged  case, 
Yet  shall  that  change  rob  the  chaunger  of  his  wit. 
For  who  this  case  searcheth,  shall  soone  see  in  it, 
That  as  well  agreeth  the  comparison  in  these, 
As  a  lyke  to  compare  in  tast,  chalke  and  cheesed 

14  To  compare  ....  chalke  and  cheese. 

Lo  !  how  they  feignen  chalk  for  cheese. 

GOWER'S  Confessio  Amantis. 

Though  I  have  no  learning,  yet  I  know  chese  from  chalke. — 
John  Bon  and  Mast  Person,  1548. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  109 

Or  a  lyke  in  colour  to  deeme  inke  and  chalke. 
Walke,  drab,  walke  !  Nay,  (quoth  she),  walke,  knave, 

zvalke  ; 

Saith  that  terme.     How  be  it  sir,  I  say  not  so. 
And  lest  wee  lay  a  straw  here,  and  even  there,  ho, 
Or  else  this  geare  will  breede  a  pad  in  the  straw. 
If  yee  hale  this  way,  I  will  an  other  way  draw. 
Here  is  God  in  tti  ambry  y  (quoth  I).     Quoth  hee,  nay, 
Here  is  the  devill  in  ttt  orologe;15  yee  may  say. 
Since  this,  (quoth  I),  rather  bringeth  bale  then  boote, 
Wrap  it  in  the  cloth,  and  tread  it  under  foote. 
Ye  harpe  on  the  string  that  geveth  no  melody. 
Your  tongs  run  before  your  wittes,  by  saint  Antony. 
Marke  yee,  how  she  hitteth  mee  on  the  thumbes,  (quoth 


And  yee  taunt  mee  tit  over  thumb,  (quoth  shee). 
Since  tit  for  tat^  (quoth  I),  on  even  hand  is  set, 



Do  not  these  thynges  differ  as  muche  as  chalcke  and  chese.— 
SHACKLOCK'S  Hatchet  of  Heresies,  1565. 

To  French  and  Scots  so  fayr  a  taell  I  tolde, 
That  they  beleeved  whyt  chalk  and  chees  was  oen. 

CHURCHYARD'S  Chippes,  1573. 

15  The  devill  in  th*  orologe. 

In  HARMAN'S  Vulgaria,  1530  : — 

— some  for  a  tryfull  pley  the  devyll  in  the  orloge. 

16  Tit  for  tat,  is  simply  a  corruption  of  tant  po^tr  tant. 

no  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Set  the  hares  head  agaynst  the  goose  jeb let.11 
She  is,  (quoth  he),  bent  to  force  you  perforce, 
To  know  that  the  grey  mare  is  the  better  horsed 
Shee  chopth  logyke,  to  put  me  to  my  clargie  : 
Shee  hath  one poynt  of  a  good  hauke  ;  shee  is  hardy. 

17  Set  the  hares  head  agaynst  the  goose  jeblet. 

Ide  set  mine  old  debts  against  my  new  driblets, 
And  the  hare's  foot  against  the  goose  giblets. 

DECKER'S  Shomakers  Holiday. 

18  The  grey  mare  is  the  better  horse. 

Lord  Macaulay  observes  in  his  history,  (i. — iii.)  : — 

"  Our  native  horses,  though  serviceable,  were  held  in  small 
esteem,  and  fetched  low  prices.  They  were  valued,  one  with 
another,  by  the  ablest  of  those  who  computed  the  national  wealth, 
at  fifty  shillings  each.  Foreign  breeds  were  greatly  preferred." 

And  adds  in  a  note  : — 

"  The  common  proverb,  that  the  grey  mare  is  the  better  horse, 
originated,  I  suspect,  in  the  preference  generally  given  to  the  grey 
mares  of  Flanders  over  the  finest  coach  horses  of  England." 

Macaulay  is  writing  of  the  latter  half  of  the  seventeenth  cen- 
tury. That  the  proverb  had  always  been  associated  with  the 
idea  of  female  superiority  appears  both  from  Heywood's  text, 
from  the  Hudibras,  and  in  innumerable  later  instances. 

What !  shall  the  graye  mayre  be  the  better  horse, 
And  the  wanton  sty  11  at  home  ? 

Pryde  and  Abuse  of  Women  Now  a  Dayes,  circa  1550. 

When  the  grey  mare's  the  better  horse, 
When  o'er  the  breeches  greedy  women 
Fight,  to  extend  their  vast  dominion. 



But  wife,  the  first  poynt  of  hanking  is  hold  fast  ;^ 
And  hold  ye  fast  I  red  you,  lest  yee  bee  cast 
In  your  own  turne.     Nay  shee  will  turne  the 
And  rather,  (quoth  I),  take  as  faith  in  the  sheafe 
At  your  handes,  and  let  fall  her  hold,  than  be  too  bolde. 
Nay,  I  will  spit  in  my  handes,  and  take  better  hold. 
Hee,  (quoth  shee),  that  will  be  angry  zvithout  cause 
Must  be  at  one,  without  amendesy  by  sage  sawes. 
Tread  a  woorme  on  the  tayle,  and  it  must  turne  agayne.^ 
He  taketh  pepper  in  thenose^  that  I  complayne 
Upon  his  faultes,  myselfe  being  faultlesse, 
But  that  shall  not  stoppe  my  mouth  yee  may  well  gesse. 
Well,  (quoth  I),  too  much  of  one  thing  is  not  good  ; 

19  Turne  the  leafe. 

He  turneth  over  a  new  leafe  and  seekes  by  sinister  meanes  to 
effect  that  which  otherwyse  he  could  not  by  any  good  meanes 
bring  to  passe. — A  Health  to  the  Gentlemanly  Profession  of 
Servingmen,  1598. 

20  Tread  a  woorme,  &*c. 

The  smallest  worm  will  turn,  being  trodden  on  ; 
And  doves  will  peck  in  safe-guard  of  their  brood. 

3  Henry  VI.  ii.  2. 

21  He  taketh  pepper  in  the  nose. 

A  common  expression  applied  to  any  one  who  was  quick  at 
taking  offence. 

For  every  man  takes  pepper  i'  the  nose 
For  the  wagginge  of  a  strawe,  God  knowse, 
With  every  waverynge  wynd  that  blowese. 

ELDERTON'S  Lenton  Stuffe,  1570. 

ii2  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Leave  off  this !  Be  it,  (quoth  he),  fall  wee  to  our  food. 
But  sufferance  is  no  qnittans  in  this  daiment. 
No,  (quoth  she),  nor  misreckning  is  no  payment. 
But  even  reckoning  maketh  longfrendes  ;  my  frend. 
For  alway  owne  is  owne,  at  the  recknings  end. 
This  reckning  once  reckned,  and  dinner  once  doone, 
We  three  from  them  twaine,  departed  very  soone. . 


\  HIS  old  woman,  the  next  day  after  this  night, 
Stale  home  to  mee,  secretly  as  shee  might, 
To  talke  with  mee.     In  secret  counsell,  (she 

Of  things  which  in  no  wise  might  be  bewrayd. 
We  twayne  are  one  to  many,  (quoth  I),  for  men  say, 
Three  may  keepe  counsayle,  if  two  be  away.™ 

22  Three  may  keepe  counsayle,  &>c. 

Three  may  keep  a  counsel  if  twain  be  away. 

CHAUCER,  Ten  Commandments  of  Love. 

Aaron.  But,  say  again,  how  many  saw  the  child  ? 

Nurse.  Cornelia  the  midwife,  and  myself  : 
And  no  one  else,  but  the  deliver'd  empress. 

Aaron.  The  empress,  the  midwife,  and  yourself: 
Two  may  k  eep  counsel,  when  the  third  }s  away. 

Titus  Andronicus,  iv.  2. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  113 

But  all  that  yee  speake,  unmeet  agayne  to  tell, 
I  will  say  nought  but  mum,  and  miim  is  counsell. 
Well  then,  (quoth  she),  herein  avoyding  all  feares, 
Avoyde  your  children  ;  small  pitchers  have  wyde  eares.1 
Which  done,  (shee  sayd),  I  have  a  husband  yee  know, 
Whom  I  made  of  nought,  as  thing  selfe  doth  show. 
And  for  these  two  causes  onely  him  I  tooke, 
First,  that  for  any  love  he  should  lovingly  looke, 
In  all  kind  of  cause  that  love  ingender  might, 
To  love  and  cherish  me  by  day  and  by  night. 
Secondly,  the  full  substance  which  I  to  him  brought, 
He  rather  should  augment,  then  bring  to  nought. 
But  now  my  good  shall  both  be  spent,  yee  shall  see, 
And  in  spending  it  sole  instrument  shall  bee 
Of  my  destruction,  by  spending  it  on  such 
As  shall  make  him  destroy  me  :  I  feare  this  much, 
e  maketh  havocke,  and  setteth  cocke  on  the  hoope. 
tie  is  so  lavish,  the  stocke  beginnes  to  droope. 
And  as  for  gaine  is  dead  and  layd  in  tumbe, 
When  he  would  get  ought  ech  finger  is  a  thumbe. 
Ech  of  his  joyntes  against  other  justles, 

1    Small  pitchers  have  vuyde  eares. 

Q.  Elizabeth.  A  parlous  boy  :  go  to,  you  are  too  shrewd. 
Archbishop.  Good  madam,  be  not  angry  with  the  child. 
Q.  Elizabeth.  Pitchers  have  ears. 

Richard  III.  ii.  4. 

ii4  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

As  handsomly  as  a  beare picketh  muscles. 

Flattring  knaves  and  flering  queanes  being  the  marke, 

Hang  on  his  sleeve  ;  many  hands  make  light  war  he? 

He  hath  his  haukes  in  the  mew  ;  but  make  ye  sure, 

With  empty  hands  men  may  no  haukes  allure. 

There  is  a  nest  of  chickens,  which  he  doth  brood, 

That  will  sure  make  his  hay r e  grow e  through  his  hood? 

They  can  currifavell,  and  make  fayre  weather, 

While  they  cut  large  thongs  of  other  mens  leather? 

He  maketh  his  marts  with  marchaunts  likely 

To  bring  a  shilling  to  nine  pence  quickly. 

If  he  holds  on  a  while  as  he  beginnes, 

We  shall  see  him  prove  a  marchant  of  eele  skinnes  ; 

2  Many  hands  make  light  warke. 

The  werke  is  the  soner  done  that  hathe  many  handes  : 
Many  handys  make  light  werke  :  my  leve  child. 

How  the  Goode  Wif  Thaught  hir  Daughter. 

3  Make  fits  hayre  growe  through  his  hood. 

It  wyll  make  hys  ,-haere  growe  through  his  hood. —  The  Dis- 
obedient Child,  by  THOMAS  INGELAND,  circa  1550. 

The  proverb  was  still  in  use  a  century  afterwards,  being 
alluded  to  in  Middleton's  comedy,  Any  Thing  for  a  Quiet  Life, 
where  Mistress  Water- Camlet  thus  exclaims  against  a  supposed 
rival : — 

French  hood,  French  hood,  I  will  make  your  hair  grow 

4  Cut  large  thongs  of  other  mens  leather. 

D'autrui  cuir  font  large  curoie. 
Cest  li  Mariages  des  Filles  au  Dyable,  MS.  circa  1300. 

JOHN    HEYWOOD.  115 

A  marchant  without  either  money  or  ware. 

But  all  bee  bugs  woordes,  that  I  speake  to  spare. 

Better  spare  at  brim  than  at  bottom,  say  I. 

Ever  spare y  and  ever  bare,  (saith  he)  ;  saith  th'  old  ballet. 

What  sendeth  hee  (say  I),  a  staffe  and  a  wallet. 

Than  up  goeth  his  staffe  to  send  mee  aloofe  ; 

He  is  at  three  woordes  up  in  the  house  roofe. 

And  herein  to  grow,  (quoth  shee),  to  conclusion, 

I  pray  your  ayd,  to  avoyde  this  confusion. 

M  \ 
And  for  counsayle  herein,  I  thought  to  have  gon 

b  that  cunning  man,  our  curate  sir  John. 
3ut  this  kept  mee  backe :  I  have  heard  now  and  then, 
"he greatest  Clerkes  be  not  the  wisest  men? 
thinke,  (quoth  I),  who  ever  that  terme  began, 
as  neither  great  Clerke  nor  the  greatest  wise  man. 
n  your  running  from  him  to  me,  yee  runne 
Out  of  Gods  blessing  into  the  ivarme  Sunne? 

5  The  greatest  Clerkes  be  not  the  wisest  men. 

Now  I  here  wel,  it  is  treue  that  I  long  syth  have  redde  and 
erde,  that  the  best  clerkes  ben  not  the  wysest  men. — History e 
if  Reynard  the  Foxe,  1 48 1 . 

The  greatest  clerks  ben  not  the  wisest  men 
As  whilom  to  the  wolf  this  spake  the  mare. 

CHAUCER,  Miller's  Tale. 

6  Out  of  Gods  blessing  into  the  war  me  Sunne. 

Therefore  if  thou  wilt  follow  my  advice,  and  prosecute  thine 

ii6  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Where  the  blinde  leadeth  the  blinde,  both  fall  in  the  dyke  ; 
And  blynde  bee  wee  both,  if  wee  thinke  us  his  lyke. 
Folkes  shew  much  folly,  when  thinges  should  be  sped 
To  run  to  the  foote,  that  may  goe  to  the  head? 
Since  he  best  can  and  most  ought  to  doo  it, 
I  feare  not  but  hee  will,  if4yee  will  woo  it. 
'  There  is  but  one  let,  (quoth  she),  more  than  I  speake  on 
Folke  say  of  old  ;  the  shooe  will  hold  with  the  sole. 
Shall  I  trust  him  then  ?  nay,  in  trust  is  treason. 
But  I  trust  you,  and  come  to  you  this  season, 
To  heare  me,  and  tell  me  what  way  yee  think  best 
To  hem  in  my  husband,  and  set  me  at  rest. 
If  yee  mynd,  (quoth  I),  a  conquest  to  make 

own  determination,  thou  shalt  come  out  of  a  warme  Sunne  int< 
Gods  blessing. — LYLY'S  Euphues,  1579. 

,   Thou  forsakest  God's  blessing  to  sit  in  warme  Sunne. — Ibid. 

Kent.  Good  king  that  must  approve  the  common  saw, 
Thou  out  of  heaven's  benediction  comest 
To  the  warm  sun. — King  Lear,  ii.  2. 

1   Where  Iht  blinde  leadeth  the  blinde^  &C. 

She  hath  hem  in  such  wise  daunted, 
That  they  were,  as  who  saith,  enchaunted  ; 
And  as  the  blinde  an  other  ledeth, 
And  till  they  falle  nothing  dredeth. 

GOWER'S  Confessio  A  mantis 
8  To  run  to  thefoote,  &c. 

Thou  that  stondys  so  sure  on  sete, 
Ware  lest  thy  hede  falle  to  thy  fete. 

The  Boke  of  Curtasye,  MS.  circa  1350 

JOHN    HEYWOOD.  117 

Over  your  husband,  no  man  may  undertake 

To  bring  you  to  ease  or  the  matter  amend, 

Except  yee  bring  him  to  weare  a  cocks  combe  at  end. 

For  take  that  your  husband  were  as  yee  take  him, 

As  I  take  him  not,  as  your  tale  would  make  him  : 

Yet  were  contention  lyke  to  do  nought  in  this, 

But  kepe  him  nought,  and  make  him  worse  than  he  is. 

But  in  this  complaynt  for  counsaill  quicke  and  cleare, 

A  fewe  proverbes  for  principles,  let  us  heare. 

Who  that  may  not  as  they  would,  will  as  they  may  ; 

And  this  to  this  ;  they  that  are  bound  must  obay. 

Folly  is  to  spume  agaynst  a  prick  ; 

To  strive  against  the  streame,  to  winch  or  kicke 

Against  the  hard  wall.     By  this  yee  may  see, 

Being  bound  to  obedience,  as  yee  bee, 

And  also  overmatcht,  suffraunce  is  your  daunce. 

Hee  may  overmatch  me,  (quoth  shee),  perchaunce 

In  strength  of  body,  but  my  tongue  is  a  limme, 

To  match  and  to  vexe  every  vayne  of  him. 

Tongue  breaketh  bone,  it  selfe  having  none?  (quoth  I). 

Tongue  breaketh  bone,  &C. 

Thou  Corny sshe,  quod  the  Hauke,  by  thy  wil, 

Say  well,  or  holde  thee  styll, 

Thou  hast  harde  of  many  a  man, 

Tonge  breaketh  bone,  and  it  selfe  hath  none. 

Par  lament  of  Byrdes,  circa  1550. 

ii8  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

If  the  winde  stand  in  that  dorey  it  standeth  awry.10 

The  perill  of  prating  out  of  tune  by  note, 

Telth  us  that  a  good  bestill  is  worth  a  groate. 

In  being  your  owne  foe  you  spin  a  fay  re  threede ; 

Advise  yee  well,  for  here  doth  all  lye  and  bleede. 

Flee  th'  attempting  of  extremities  all. 

Folke  say  ;  better  sit  still  than  ryse  and  fall ^ 

For  little  more  or  lesse  no  debate  make, 

A  t  every  dogs  barke,  seeme  not  to  awake. 

And  where  the  small  with  the  great  can  not  agree, 

The  weaker  goeth  to  the  pot™  we  all  day  see. 

"  Tonge  breketh  bon, 
Ant  nad  hire  selve  non," 
Quoth  Hendyng. 

Proverbs  of  Hendyng,  MS.  circa  1320. 

10  If  the  winde  stand  in  that  dore. 

Dalio.  It  is  even  so  ?  is  the  winde  in  that  doore  ? 

Supposes,  by  GEORGE  GASCOIGNE,  1566. 

11  Better  sit  still  than  ryse  andfalL 

Oh  Cousin,  I  have  heard  my  father  say,  that  it  is  better  to  sit 
fast  than  to  rise  and  fall,  and  a  great  wise  man  who  knew  the 
world  to  a  hayre,  would  say,  that  the  meane  was  sure  :  better  be 
in  the  middle  roome,  then  either  in  the  Garret  or  the  Sellor. — 
Court  and  Country ',  by  NICHOLAS  BRERETON,  1618. 

12  The  weaker  goeth  to  the  pot. 

This  vulgar  and  objectionable  saying  has  at  least  a  descent 
from  antiquity  to  recommend  it.  Judging  from  the  context  in 
those  passages  of  mediaeval  literature  where  it  occurs,  it  has 
been  supposed  to  refer  primarily  to  the  barbarous  practice  of  con- 
signing useless  or  refractory  monks  to  a  species  of  oubliette, 
where  in  many  cases  they  suffered  a  speedy  death,  or  at  the 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  119 

So  that  alway  the  bigger  eateth 
Yee  can  nought  winne  by  any  wayward  meane. 
Where  the  hedge  is  lowest,  men  may  soonest  over^ 
Be  silent.     Let  not  your  tong  run  at  rover. 
Since  by  stryfe  yee  may  lose,  and  can  not  winne, 
Suffer  !     It  is  good  sleeping  in  a  whole  skinne. 
If  he  chyde,  keepe  you  bill  under  wing  muet  ; 
Chatting  to  chiding  is  not  worth  a  chuet. 
We  see  many  tymes,  might  overcomth  right. 
Were  not  you  as  good  then  to  say,  the  crow  is  whight.  \  Q  Yy 
And  so  rather  let  fay  re  woordes  make  fooles  fay  ne™ 

caprice  of  their  superiors  were  permitted  to  linger  on  in  life -long 

The  most  direct  allusion  to  these  practices  is  in  Piers  Plowman's 

Under  a  pot  he  shall  be  put 
In  a  pryve  chambre 
That  he  shal  lyven  ne  laste 
But  lytel  whyle  after. 
13  The  bigger  eateth  the  beane. 

For  I  am  wery  of  this  renning  about, 
And  yet  alway  I  stand  in  great  doubt 
Least  that  the  bigger  wyll  eate  the  Been. 

XII  Mery  Jests  of  the  Wyddow  Edyth,  1525. 
Where  the  hedge  is  lowest,  &*c. 
Where  hedge  is  lowe,  there  every  man  treads  downe, 
And  friendship  failes,  when  Fortune  list  to  frowne. 

GASCOIGNE'S  Posies,  1575. 
15  Fayre  woordes  make  fooles  fay  ne. 
In  youthfull  yeares,  when  first  my  yonge  desires  beganne 
To  pricke  me  forth  to  serve  in  court,  a  selender,  tall  yonge  manne  : 

120  THE     PROVERBS    OF 

Then  be  plain  without  pleats,  and  plant  your  own  pain. 

For  were  yee  as  play ne  as  Dunstable  hie  way, 

Yet  should  yee  that  way  rather  breake  a  love  day, 

Than  make  one  thus :  though  ye  perfectly  knew 

All  that  yee  conjecture  to  be  proved  true. 

Yet  better  dissemble  it,  and  shake  it  off, 

Then  to  braide  him  with  it  in  earnest  or  in  scoffe, 

If  hee  play  falsehoode  in  felowship,  play  yee 

See  me  and  see  me  not ;  the  worst  part  to  flee. 

Why  thinke  yee  mee  so  whyte  liverd,  (quoth  shee), 

That  I  will  be  tong  tyed  ?    Well,  (quoth  I),  your  part 

Is  to  suffer,  (I  say),  for  yee  shall  preeve, 

Tauntes  appease  not  thinges,  they  rather  agreeve. 

But  for  ill  company  or  expense  extreeme, 

I  heare  no  man  doubt,  so  far  as  yee  deeme ; 

And  there  is  no  fire  without  some  smoke,  wee  see. 

Well,  well,  make  no  fyre,  raise  no  smoke,  (sayd  shee). 

What  cloke  for  the  rayne^  so  ever  yee  bring  mee, 

My  fathers  blessinge  then  I  asked  uppon  my  knee, 

Who,  blessinge  me  wyth  tremblinge  hand,  these  woordes  gan  say 

to  me  : 

My  sonne,  God  guide  thy  way,  and  shielde  thee  from  mischaunce, 
And  make  thy  just  desartes  in  court,  thy  pore  estate  to  advaunce  : 
But  when  thou  art  become  one  of  that  courtlie  trayne, 
Thinke  on  this  proverbe  olde,  quod  he,  that  faire  woordes  make 
fools  faine. — Paradyse  of  Day ntie  Devises,  1578. 

16  Cloke  for  the  rayne. 

Nicholas.  ;Tis  good  to  have  a  cloake  for  the  raine  ;  a  bad  shift 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  121 

Myself e  can  tell  best  where  my  shooe  doth  wring  mee.11 
But  as  yee  say ;  where  fyre  is,  smoke  will  appeere. 
And  so  hath  it  done,  for  I  did  lately  heere, 
How  fleck  and  his  make  use  their  secret  haunting, 
By  one  byrd,  that  in  myne  eare  was  late  chaunting. 
One  swallow  maketh  not  summer^  (sayd  I),  men  say  : 
I  have,  (quoth  she),  moe  blocks  in  his  way  to  lay, 
For  farther  increase  of  suspicion  of  ils. 
Besyde  the  jetting  into  the  towne,  to  his  Gils, 
With  calets  hee  consumeth  himselfe  and  the  goods  ; 
Sometyme  in  the  fieldes,  sometyme  in  the  woods, 
Some  heare  and  see  him,  whom  he  heareth  and  seeth 

But  fieldes  have  eies  and  woods  have  eares^  yee  wot. 

is  better  then  none  at  all ;    lie  sit  heere,  as  if  I  were  as  dead  as 
a  doore  naile. —  Two  Angry  Women  of  Abingdon,  1599. 

17  My  self  e  can  tell  best  where  my  shooe  doth  wring  mee. 

Je  scay  mieux  ou  le  bas  me  blesse. 

Maistre  Pierre  Patelin. 

18  One  swallow  maketh  not  summer. 

One  swallowe  prouveth  not  that  summer  is  neare. 

NORTHBROOKE'S  Treatise  against  Daunting,  1577. 

19  Fieldes  have  eies  and  woods  have  eares. 

The  were  bettur  be  still ; 
Wode  has  erys,  felde  has  si?t 
Were  the  forster  here  now  right, 

Thy  wordis  shuld  like  the  ille. 
King  Edward  and  the  Shepherd,  MS.  circa  1300. 

122  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

And  also  on  my  maydes  he  is  ever  tooting. 

Can  yee  judge  a  man,  (quoth  I),  by  this  looking  ? 

What,  a  cat  may  looke  on  a  King,  yee  know. 

My  cats  leering  looke,  (quoth  she),  at  first  show, 

Shewth  me,  that  my  cat  goeth  a  catter  wawing  ; 

And  specially  by  his  manner  of  drawing 

To  Madge  my  fayre  mayde  ;  for  may  he  come  ny  her, 

Hee  must  needes  basse  her,  as  he  comth  by  her. 

He  loveth  well  sheeps  flesh,  that  wets  his  bred  in  the 

If  he  leave  it  not,  we  have  a  crow  to  pull.1 

20  He  loveth  well  sheeps  flesh,  that  wets  his  bred  in  the  wull. 

The  proverb  must  be  taken  to  refer  to  a  certain  broth  or  jelly 
made  from  the  sheep's  head  boiled  with  the  wool.  Such  a  receipt 
is  mentioned  in  a  rare  poem  attributed  to  Lydgate,  where  the 
virtues  of  a  sheep  are  found  enumerated  : — 

Of  the  shepe  is  caste  awaye  no  thynge ; 
His  home  for  nockes,  to  haftes  go  his  bone, 
To  londe  grete  prouffyte  dooth  his  tyrtelynge  ; 
His  talowe  serveth  for  playsters  many  one  ; 
For  harpe  strynges  his  ropes  serve  echone. 
Of  whoos  hede  boyled,  with  wull  and  all, 
Tere  cometh  a  gely  and  an  oyntement  ryal. 

Treaty  se  of  the  Horse,  the  Shepe  and  the  goes. 

1   We  have  a  crow  to  pull. 

A  belle.  Dere  brother,  I  will  fayre 
On  feld  ther  our  bestes  ar, 
To  looke  if  they  be  holgh  or  fulle. 

Cayn.  Na,  na,  abide,  we  have  a  craw  to  pulle. 

Mactacio  Abel,  in  Towneley  Mysteries,  circa  1420. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  123 

He  loveth  her  better  at  the  sole  of  the  foote,  ever  hee  loved  mee  at  the  hart  roote. 
//  is  a  fonle  byrd  that  fyleth  his  owne  nest? 
I  would  have  him  live  as  Gods  law  hath  exprest, 
And  leave  lewd  ticking.     Hee  that  will  none  ill  doo, 
Must  do  nothing  that  belongeth  theretoo  ; 
To  ticke  and  laugh  with  me,  hee  hath  lawfull  leeve : 
To  that  I  sayd  nought,  but  taught  in  my  sleeve. 
But  when  shee  seemed  to  bee  fixed  in  mynde, 
Rather  to  seeke  for  that  shee  was  loth  to  finde, 
Than  leave  that  seeking,  by  which  she  might  find  ease, 
I  faynde  this  fancy  to  feele  how  it  should  please. 
Will  yee  do  well,  (quoth  I)  ?  take  paine  to  watch  him  : 

2  A  foule  byrd  that  fyleth  his  owne  nest. 

pu  art  lofclich  and  unclene 
Bi  >ine  neste  ich  hit  mene 
And  ek  bi  Jnne  fule  brode 
}m  fedest  on  heom  a  pel  ful  fode, 
pel  >ostu  j?at  hi  doj?  J?ar  inne 
Hi  fulej?  hit  up  to  J?e  chinne 
Heo  sittej?  j?ar  so  li  beo  bisne 
Dahet  habba  J?at  ilke  best 
J?at  fulej?  his  o?e  nest. 

Owl  and  the  Nightingale,  MS.  circa  1250. 

Rede  and  lerne  ye  may, 
Howe  olde  proverbys  say, 
That  byrd  ys  nat  honest, 
That  fylyth  hys  owne  nest. 

SKELTON,  Poems  against  Games  che^  1520. 

124  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

And  if  yee  chaunce  in  advoutry  to  catch  him, 

Then  have  yee  him  on  the  hip?  or  on  the  hirdell, 

Then  have  yee  his  head  fast  under  your  girdell. 

Where  your  woordes  now  do  but  rub  him  on  the  gall, 

That  deede  without  woordes  shall  drive  him  to  the  wall. 

And  further  than  the  wall  he  can  not  go : 

But  must  submit  himselfe,  and  it  hap  so, 

That  at  ende  of  your  watch  yee  giltlesse  appeere, 

Then  all  grudge  grown  by  jelousy,  taketh  end  cleere. 

For  of  all  folkes  I  may  woorst  watch  him  (sayd  shee), 

Of  all  folkes  himselfe  most  watcheth  mee. 

I  shall  as  soone  try  him  or  take  him  this  way, 

As  dryve  a  top  over  a  tyled  house,  no  way. 

I  may  keepe  corners  or  hollow  trees  with  th'owle, 

This  seven  yeares  day  and  night  to  watch  a  bowle, 

Before  I  shall  catch  him  with  undoubted  evill. 

Hee  must  have  a  long  spoone,  shall  eat  with  the  devill  ;4 

3  Have  yee  him  on  the  hip. 

Which  thing  to  do, 

If  this  poor  trash  of  Venice,  whom  I  trash 
For  his  quick  hunting,  stand  the  putting  on, 
111  havse  our  Michael  Cassio  on  the  hip. 

Othello,  ii.  7. 

4  Hee  must  have  a  long  spoone,  &c. 

Courtezan.  Your  man  and  you  are  marvellous  merry,  sir. 
Will  you  go  with  me  ?    We'll  mend  our  dinner  here. 

Dromio.  Master,  if  you  do,  expect  spoonmeat  or  bespeak  a  long 

JOHN    HEYWOOD.  125 

And  the  devil  is  no  falser  than  is  hee. 

I  have  heard  tell,  it  had  need  to  bee 

A  wylie  mouse  that  should  breed  in  the  cats  eare.5 

Shall  I  get  within  him  than  ?  nay  ware  that  geare. 

It  is  hard  halting  before  a  creeple^  y ee  wot. 

A  falser  water  drinker  there  liveth  not. 

Whan  he  hunteth  a  Doe,  that  he  can  not  avow, 

All  dogs  barke  not  at  him,  I  warrant  yow ; 

Namely  not  I,  (I  say),  though  as  I  sayd, 

Hee  sometyme,  though  seldom,  by  some  be  bewrayed. 

Close  hunting,  (quoth  I),  the  good  hunter  allowth  ; 

Antipholus.  Why,  Dromio  ? 

Dromio.  Marry,  he  must  have  a  long  spoon,  that  must  eat  with 
the  devil. — Comedy  of  Errors,  iv.  3. 

Therefore  behoveth  him  a  ful  long  spone, 
That  shal  ete  with  a  fend  :  thus  herd  I  say. 

CHAUCER,  Squieres  Tale. 

5  A  wylie  mouse,  &r*c. 

A  hardy  mowse  that  is  bold  to  breede 

In  cattis  eeris. — Order  of  Poles,  MS.  circa  1450. 

It  is  a  wyly  mouse 

That  can  build  his  dwellinge  house 

Within  the  cattes  eare. 

SKELTON,  1520. 

6  It  is  hard  halting  before  a  creeple. 

I  perceyve  (quod  she)  it  is  evill  to  halte  before  a  Creple. 
Ferdinando,  perceyving  now  that  his  Mistryse  waxed  angry, 
thought  good  on  hir  behalfe  thus  to  answere :  and  it  is  evill  to  hop 
before  them  that  runneforthe  Bell. — Fable  of  Ferdinando  Jeronimi 
and  Leonora  de  Valases,  by  GEORGE  GASCOIGNE,  1575. 

126  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

But  bee  your  husband  never  so  still  of  mouth, 
If  yee  can  hunt,  and  will  stand  at  receite, 
Your  mayd  examind,  maketh  him  open  streite. 
That  were,  (quoth  shee),  as  of  my  truth  to  make  preefe, 
To  aske  my  fellow  whether  I  be  a  theefe. 
They  cleave  together  lyke  burres,  that  way  I  shall 
Pyke  out  no  more  than  out  of  the  stone  wall. 
Than  like  yee  not  to  watch  him  for  wife  or  maide  ? 
No,  (quoth  shee).   Nor  I,  (quoth  he) ;  what  ever  I  saide 
And  I  mislike  not  only  your  watch  in  vaine, 
But  also  if  yee  tooke  him  what  could  yee  gaine  ? 
From  suspicion  to  knowledge  of  yll,  forsooth, 
Could  make  yee  doo,  but  as  the  flounder  dooth, 
'    Leape  out  of  the  frying  pan  into  the  fyre  ; 
And  change  -from  il  paine  to  worse,  is  worth  small  hire. 
Let  time  trie.     Time  trieth  troth  in  every  doubt ; 
And  deeme  the  best  til  time  hath  tride  the  troth  out. 
And  reason  saith,  make  not  two  sorowes  of  one  ; 
But  yee  make  ten  sorowes  where  reason  maketh  none. 
For  where  reason,  (as  I  sayd),  wilth  you  to  winke, 
(Although  all  were  proved  as  ill  as  ye  thinke), 
Contrarie  to  reason  ye  stampe  and  ye  stare ; 
Ye  fret  and  ye  fume  as  mad  as  a  march  hare.1 

7  As  mad  as  a  march  hare. 

I  saye,  thou  madde  Marche  hare. 
SKELTON'S  Reply  cation  against  certayne  yong  scolers,  1520. 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  127 

Without  proofe  to  his  reproofe  present  or  past, 
But  by  such  report,  as  most  prove  lyes  at  last. 
And  here goth  the  hare  away*  for  ye  judge  all, 
And  judge  the  worst  in  all,  ere  proofe  in  ought  fall. 
But  blind  men  should  judge  no  colours,  by  old  sawes, 
And  } vlke  oft  times  are  most  blind  in  their  owne  cawse. 
The  blinde  eate  many  fly  es?     Howbeit  the  fancie 
Of  your  blindnes  comth  not  of  ignorancie. 
Ye  could  tell  another  herein  the  best  way : 
But  it  is  as  folke  doe,  and  not  as  folke  say. 
For  they  say,  saying  and  doing  are  two  things 
To  defend  danger  that  double  dealing  brings. 
As  ye  can  seeme  wise  in  words,  be  wise  in  deede. 
That  is,  (quoth  he),  sooner  sayd  then  done,  I  dreede. 
But  me  seemth  your  counsaile  wayth  in  the  whole, 
To  make  me  put  my  finger  in  a  hole. 
And  so  by  suffrance  to  be  so  lither, 
In  my  house  to  lay  fire  and  tow  togitJier. 

8  Here  goth  the  hare  away. 
Man.  By  my  fayth  a  lytell  season 

I  folowd  the  counsell  and  dyet  of  reason. 
Gets.  There  went  the  hare  away. 

MED  WALL'S  Interlude  of  Nature,  1510. 

9  The  blinde  eate  many  flyes. 

the  blinde  eateth  many  a  flye  : 
So  doth  the  husband  often,  iwis, 
Father  the  childe  that  is  not  his. 

Schole-house  of  Women,  1541. 

128  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

And  if  they  fire  me,  some  of  them  shall  winne 

More  tow  on  their  distaves  than  they  can  well  spinne.™ 

And  the  best  of  them  shall  have  both  their  hands  full : 

Bolster  or  pillow  for  me,  be  whose  wul. 

I  will  not  beare  the  divels  sacke  by  saint  Audrie, 

For  conceiling  suspition  of  their  baudrie. 

I  feare  false  measures,  or  else  I  were  a  childe : 

For  they  that  thinke  none  ill,  are  soonest  beguilde. 

For  thus  though  much  water  goeth  by  the  mill, 

That  the  miller  knoweth  not  0/",11  yet  I  will 

Cast  what  may  scape,  and  as  though  I  finde  it, 

With  the  clacke  of  my  mill  to  fine  meale  grinde  it. 

And  sure  ere  I  take  any  rest  in  effect, 

I  must  banish  my  maides  such  as  I  suspect. 

10  More  tow  on  their  distaves,  &*c. 

In  JOHN  HEYWOOD'S  Merry  Playe  betweene  the  Pardoner  and 
the  Frere,  the  Curate  and  neybour  Pratte,  1533,  the  parson  and 
friar  having  come  to  blows,  the  parson  thus  acknowledges  his 
defeat : 

I  have  more  tow  on  my  dystaffe  than  I  can  well  spyn. 

11  Much  water  goeth  by  the  mill,  &c. 

Demetrius.  Why  mak'st  thou  it  so  strange  ? 
She  is  a  woman,  therefore  may  be  woo'd. 
She  is  a  woman,  therefore  may  be  won. 
She  is  Lavinia,  therefore  must  be  lov'd. 
What,  man  ;  more  water  glideth  by  the  mill, 
Than  wots  the  miller  of,  and  easy  it  is 
Of  a  cut  loaf  to  steal  a  shive. 

Titus  Andronicus,  ii.  7. 


Better  it  be  done,  than  zvisk  it  had  been  done. 
As  good  undone,  (quoth  I),  as  doe  it  too  soone. 
Well,  (quoth  she),  till  soone  fare  ye  well,  and  this 
Keepe  ye  as  secret  as  ye  thinke  meete  is. 
Out  at  doores  went  she  herewith  :  and  hereupon 
In  at  doores  came  he  forthwith  as  she  was  gon. 
And  without  any  temprate  protestation, 
Thus  he  began  in  way  of  exclamation. 


what  choice  may  compare  to  the  divels 


Like  his  that  hath  chosen  a  divell  to  his  wife ; 
Namely  such  an  old  witch,  such  a  mackabroine, 
As  evermore  like  a  hogge  hangeth  the  groine 
On  her  husband,  except  he  be  her  slave, 
And  follow  all  fancies  that  she  would  have. 
Tis  said,  there  is  no  good  accord, 
Where  every  man  would  be  a  Lord. 
Wherefore  my  wife  will  be  no  Lord,  but  Ladie, 
To  make  me  that  should  be  her  Lord,  a  babie. 
Before  I  was  wedded,  and  since,  I  made  reckning, 
To  make  my  wife  bow  at  every  beckning. 


130  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Bachelers  boast,  how  they  will  teach  their  wives  good  ; 

But  many  a  man  speaketh  of  Robin  Hood, 

That  never  shot  in  his  bow.    When  all  is  sought, 

Bachelers  wives,  and  maides  children  be  well  tought™ 

And  this  with  this  I  also  begin  to  gather, 

Every  man  can  rule  a  shrew,  save  he  that  hath  tier. 

At  my  will  I  wend  she  should  have  wrought  like  waxe, 

But  I  finde  and  feele,  shee  hath  found  such  knaxe 

In  her  bouget,  and  such  toyes  in  her  hed, 

That  to  daunce  after  her  pipe  I  am  nie  led. 

It  is  said  of  old,  an  old  dog  biteth  sore ;13 

But  by  God,  th'  old  bitch  biteth  sorer  and  more. 

And  not  with  teeth,  (she  hath  none),  but  with  her  tung. 

If  all  tales  be  true,  (quoth  I),  though  she  be  stung, 

And  thereby  sting  you,  she  is  not  much  to  blame, 

For  what  ever  you  say,  thus  goeth  the  fame. 

When  folkes  first  saw  your  substance  layd  in  your  lap, 

Without  your  paine,  with  your  wife  brought  by  good 


Oft  in  remembrance  of  haps  happie  devise, 
They  would  say,  better  be  happie  then  wise. 

12  Bachelers  wives,  &*c. 

The  maid's  child  is  ever  best  taught. — LATIMER'S  $th  Sermon. 

13  An  old  dog  biteth  sore. 

Olde  dogges  bite  sore. 
CHURCHYARD' s  Handeful  of  Gladsome  Verses,  1592. 

JOHN   HEY  WOOD.  131 

Not  minding  thereby  than  to  deprave  your  wit, 

For  they  had  good  hope  to  see  good  proofe  of  it. 

But  since  their  good  opinion  therein  so  cooles 

That  they  say  as  oft,  God  sendeth  fortune  to  fooles. 

In  that  as  fortune  without  your  wit  gave  it, 

So  can  your  wit  not  keepe  it  when  ye  have  it. 

Saith  one,  this  geare  was  gotten  on  a  holy  day. 

Saith  another,  who  may  hold  that  will  away. 

This  game  from  beginning  shewth  what  end  is  ment ; 

Soone  gotten  soone  spent \  ill  gotten  ill  spent. 

Ye  are  calde  not  only  too  great  a  spender, 

Too  franke  a  giver  and  as  free  a  lender : 

But  also  ye  spend,  give  and  lend,  among  such, 

Whose  lightnes  minisheth  your  honestie  much, 

As  your  money,  and  much  they  disalow, 

That  ye  brake  all  from  her,  that  brought  all  to  yow, 

And  spend  it  out  at  doores  in  spite  of  her, 

Because  ye  would  kill  her  to  be  quite  of  her. 

For  all  kindnes,  of  her  part,  that  may  rise, 

Ye  shew  all  th'  unkindnes  ye  can  devise. 

And  where  reason  and  custome,  (they  say),  affoords, 

Alway  to  let  the  losers  have  their  words y 

Ye  make  her  a  coockqueane,  and  consume  her  good, 

And  she  must  sit  like  a  beane  in  a  Munks  hood. 

She  must  obey  those  lambes,  or  els  a  lambs  skin 

Ye  will  provide  for  her,  to  lap  her  in. 

132  THE   PROVERBS    OF 

This  biteth  the  mare  by  the  thumbe,  as  they  say, 

For  were  ye,  touching  condition,  (say  they), 

The  castell  of  honestie  in  all  things  els, 

Yet  should  this  one  thing,  as  their  whole  tale  tels, 

Defoyle  and  deface  that  castell  to  a  cottage. 

With  many  conditions  good,  one  that  is  ill, 

Defaceth  the  flowre  of  all  and  doth  all  spill. 

Now,  (quoth  I),  if  you  thinke  they  truly  clatter, 

Let  your  amendment  amend  the  matter. 

Halfe  warnd  halfe  armd.     This  warning  for  this  I  show, 

He  that  hath  an  ill  name  is  half  hangd,  ye  know. 


JELL  sayd  (sayd  he)  mary  sir  here  is  a  tale ; 
For  honestie,  meete  to  set  the  divell  on  sale. 
But  now  am  I  forst  a  beadrole  t'unfolde, 
To  tell  somewhat  more  to  the  tale  I  erst  tolde. 
Grow  this,  as  most  part  doth,  I  durst  holde  my  life, 
Of  the  jelousie  of  dame  Julok,  my  wife, 
Then  shall  ye  wonder  when  trueth  doth  define, 
How  she  can,  and  doth  here  both  bite  and  whine. 
Franzie,  heresie,  and  jelousie  are  three, 
That  men  say  hardly  or  never  cured  bee. 

JOHN  HEY  WOOD.  133 

And  although  jelousie  need  not  or  boot  not, 

What  helpeth  that  counsaile,  if  reason  roote  not  ? 

And  in  mad  jelousie  she  is  so  farre  gon, 

She  thinkth  I  run  over  all  that  I  looke  on. 

Take  good  heede  of  that,  (quoth  I),  for  at  a  word, 

The  proverbe  saith  he  that  striketh  with  the  sword 

Shall  be  stricken  with  the  scabberd.^    Tush,  (quoth  he) ; 

The  divell  with  the  scabberd  will  not  strike  me. 

But  my  dame  taking  suspition  for  full  preefe, 

Reporteth  it  for  a  troth  to  the  most  mischeefe, 

In  words  gold  and  hole,  as  men  by  wit  could  wish, 

She  will  as  fast  as  a  dog  will  lick  a  dish. 

She  is  of  troth  as  false  as  God  is  trew. 

And  if  she  chance  to  see  me  at  a  vew 

Kisse  any  of  my  maides  alone,  but  in  sport, 

That  takth  she  in  earnest,  after  Bedlam  sort^ 

The  cow  is  wood.     Her  tongue  runth  on  pattens. 

If  it  be  morne,  we  have  a  payre  of  mattens  ; 

14  He  that  striketh  with  the  sword,  &*c. 

Nich.  Blessed  be  the  peace-makers  ;  they  that  strike  with  the 
sword  shall  be  beaten  with  the  scabberd. 

Phil.  Well  said,  proverbs,  nere  another  to  that  purpose  ? 

Nich.  Yes,  I  could  have  said  to  you,  syr  Take  heede  is  a  good 
reede.  Two  Angry  Women  of  Abington,  1599. 

16  After  Bedlam  sort. 

Here  is  an  allusion  to  the  Priory  of  St.  Mary  of  Bethlehem, 
which  was  converted  into  an  asylum  in  1546,  the  year  of  the 
publication  of  Heywood's  Dialogue. 

134  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

If  it  even,  evensong,  not  Latine  nor  Greeke, 

But  English  and  like  that  as  in  Easter  weeke. 

She  beginneth  first  with  a  Cry  a  leysone, 

To  which  she  ringth  a  peale,  alarum  :  such  an  one, 

As  folk  ring  bees  with  basons ;    the  world  ninth  on 


But  except  her  mayd  shew  a  fayre  payre  of  heeles,^ 
She  haleth  her  by  the  boy  rope  till  her  braines  ake. 
And  bring  I  home  a  good  dish,  good  cheere  to  make, 
What  is  this  (saith  she)  ?  Good  meate,  (say  I),  for  yow. 
God  have  mercie  horse?*  a  pig  of  mine  owne  sow. 
Thus  when  I  see  by  kindnes  ease  reneweth  not, 

16  Shew  a  fayre  payre  ofheeles. 

Prince  Henry.  But,  Francis,  darest  thou  be  so  valiant  as  to 
play  the  coward  with  thy  indenture  and  show  it  a  fair  pair  of 
heels. — i  Henry  IV.  ii.  4. 

17  God  have  mercie  horse. 

According  to  Tarltoris  Jests,  1611,  this  form  of  speech  arose 
from  an  adventure  of  Richard  Tarleton,  the  player,  with  Banks's 
performing  horse,  Morocco. 

The[re]  was  one  Banks,  in  the  time  of  Tarlton,  who  served 
the  Erie  of  Essex,  and  had  a  horse  of  strange  qualities,  and 
being  at  the  Crosse-keyes,  in  Gracious  streete,  [Gracechurch 
Street]  getting  mony  with  him,  as  he  was  mightily  resorted  to. 
Tarlton  then,  with  his  fellowes,  playing  at  the  Bel  [the  Red  Bull 
in  Bishopsgate  Street]  by,  came  into  the  Crosse-keyes,  amongst 
many  people,  to  see  fashions,  which  Banks  perceiving,  to  make 
the  people  laugh,  saies  ;  seignior,  to  his  horse,  go  fetch  me  the 
veryest  foole  in  the  company.  The  jade  comes  immediately, 
and  with  his  mouth  drawes  Tarlton  forth.  Tarlton  with  merry 
words,  said  nothing  but,  "  God  a  mercy,  horse."  In  the  end 
Tarlton,  seeing  the  people  laugh  so,  was  angry  inwardly,  and 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  135 

And  that  the  eye  seeth  not,  the  hart  reweth  not ; 18 
And  that  he  must  needes  goe  whom  the  divell  doth  drive ^ 
He  forcing  me  for  mine  ease  to  contrive, 
To  let  her  fast  and  freat  alone  for  me, 
I  goe  where  merry  chat  and  good  cheere  may  be. 
Much  spend  I  abroad,  which  at  home  should  be  spent, 
If  she  would  leave  controlling  and  bee  content. 
There  lept  a  whiting,  (quoth  she),  and  lept  in  streite. 
Take  a  haire  from  his  beqrd,  and  marke  this  conceite, 

said  :  Sir,  had  I  power  of  your  horse  as  you  have,  I  would  doe 
more  than  that.  What  ere  it  be,  said  Banks,  to  please  him,  I 
will  charge  him  to  do  it.  Then,  said  Tarleton  :  charge  him  to 
bring  me  the  veriest  whore-master  in  the  company.  The  horse 
leades  his  master  to  him.  Then  "  God  a  mercy  horse  indeed," 
saies  Tarlton.  The  people  had  much  ado  to  keep  peace  ;  but 
Banks  and  Tarlton  had  like  to  have  squar'd,  and  the  horse  by 
to  give  aime.  But  ever  after  it  was  a  by  word  thorow  London, 
God  a  mercy  horse  !  and  is  so  to  this  day. 

18  That  the  eye  seeth  not,  &>c. 

Thou  art  now,  Francesco,  to  be  a  lover,  not  a  divine  ;  to 
measure  thy  affections  by  Ovid's   principles,  not  by  rules  of 

theology What  !  the  blinde  eats  many  a  flie,  and  much 

water  runnes  by  the  mill  that  the  miller  never  knowes  of :  the 
evill  that  the  eye  sees  not,  the  hart  rues  not.  Caste  si  non  caute. 
Tush,  Francesco,  Isabel  hath  not  Lynceus  eyes,  to  see  so  farre. 
Therefore  while  thou  art  resident  in  London,  enjoy  the  beauty 
of  Infida,  and  when  thou  art  at  home,  onely  content  thee  with 
Isabel. — GREENE'S  Never  too  Late,  1590. 

19  He  must  needes  goe,  &>c. 

There  is  a  proverb  which  trewe  now  preveth, 
He  must  nedes  go  that  the  uyvell  dryveth. 

HEYWOOD'S  Johan  Johan  the  Husbande,  Tyb 
his  wyfe  and  Syr  Jhan  the  Freest^  1533* 

136  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

He  maketh  you  beleeve,  by  lyes  layd  on  by  lode, 
My  brauling  at  home  maketh  him  banquet  abrode. 
Where  his  banquets  abroad,  make  me  braule  at  home. 
For  as  in  a  frost,  a  mud  wall  made  of  lome 
Cracketh  and  crummeth  in  peeces  asunder, 
So  melteth  his  money  to  the  worlds  wonder. 
Thus  may  ye  see  to  turne  the  cat  in  the  pan™ 
Or  set  the  cart  before  the  horse^  well  he  can. 
He  is  but  little  at  home,  the  truth  is  so, 
And  forth  with  him  he  will  not  let  me  go. 

2°  To  turne  the  cat  in  the  pan. 

It  may  safely  be  maintained  that  the  proverb  as  originally 
spoken  was,  "  to  turn  the  cate  in  the  pan  ; "  cate  being  an  old 
word  for  cake. 

Feasting  with  Pluto  and  his  Proserpine 
Night  after  night  with  all  delicious  cates. 

The  Hog  hath  lost  his  Pearl. 

It  is  supposed  that  cate  takes  its  origin  from  the  final  syllable 
of  the  word  delicate;  and  that  from  this  comes  our  modern 
word  to  cater. 

Some  philologers  have  seen  in  this  phrase  a  corruption  of 
the  French  guet-a-pens,  and  others  refer  it  to  the  Low  Latin 
catapanus,  or  the  Greek  Hetrairavu. 
As  for  Bernard,  often  tyme  he  turneth  the  cat  in  the  pan. 

SHACKLOCK'S  Hatchet  of  Heresies ,  1565. 
1  Set  the  cart  before  the  horse. 

II  mettoyt  la  charette  devant  les  beufz. 


This  is  Harry  White's  humour. 

Item.  He  deemes  that  a  preposterous  government  where  the 
wife  predominates,  and  the  husband  submits  to  her  discretion, 
that  is  Hysterion  and  Proteron,  the  cart  before  the  horse. 

Harry  White^  his  Humour. 

JOHN  HEY  WOOD.  137 

And  if  I  come  to  be  merry  where  he  is, 

Then  is  he  mad,  as  ye  shall  heare  by  this. 

Where  he  with  gossips  at  a  banquet  late  was, 

At  which  as  use  is,  he  payd  all,  but  let  pas : 

I  came  to  be  merrie.     Wherewith  merrily, 

Proface.     Have  among  you,  blinde  harpers?  (say'd  I) ; 

The  moe  the  merrier?  we  all  day  here  see. 

Yea,  but  the  fewer  the  better  fare,  (sayd  he). 

Then  here  were,  ere  I  came,  (quoth  I),  too  many ; 

Here  is  but  little  meate  left,  if  there  be  any. 

And  it  is  ill  camming)  I  have  heard  say, 

3  Have  among  you,  blinde  harpers. 

Macaulay  observes  that  in  the  old  ballad  poetry,  all  the  gold 
is  "  red  "  and  all  the  ladies  "  gay."  So  also,  it  may  be  remarked 
that,  as  in  the  instance  before  us,  all  the  harpers  are  afflicted 
with  blindness.  The  "  have  among  you  "  is  merely  an  expression 
of  conviviality  accompanying  the  drinking  of  a  toast. 

ILeoc.  Have  towards  thee,  Philotas. 
Phil.  To  thee,  Archippus. 
Arch.  To  thee,  Molops. 
Mo  lops.  Have  among  you,  blind  fiddlers. 

CARTWRIGHT'S  Royall  Slave,  1651. 

"  The  Poet's  Blind  Man's  Bough  :  or  Have  among  you  blinde 
Harpers"  was  the  title  of  a  tract  by  Martin  Parker,  printed 
in  1651. 

3  The  moe  the  merrier. 

Store  makes  no  sore  :  loe  this  seemes  contrarye, 
And  mo  the  merier  is  a  Proverbe  eke, 
But  store  of  sores  maye  make  a  maladye, 

tAnd  one  to  many  maketh  some  to  seeke, 
When  two  be  mette  that  bankette  with  a  leche. 
GASCOIGNE'S  Posies,  1575. 

138  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

To  th  end  of  a  shot,  and  beginning  of  a  fray. 

Put  by  thy  purse,  (quoth  he),  thou  shalt  not  pay. 

And  fray  here  should  be  none,  were  thou  gone  thy  way. 

Here  is  since  thou  camst  too  many  feete  a  bed. 

Welcome  when  thou  goest ;  thus  is  thine  errand  sped. 

I  come,  (quoth  I),  to  be  one  here,  if  I  shall, 

It  is  merrie  in  hall  when  beards  wagge  all* 

What,  bid  me  welcome  pig :  I  pray  thee  kisse  me  : 

Nay  farewell  sow,  (quoth  he),  our  Lord  blesse  me 

From  bassing  of  beasts  of  Bearebinder  lane. 

I  have,  (quoth  I),  for  fine  sugar,  fayre  rats  bane. 

Many  yeares  since  my  mother  sayd  to  me, 

Her  elders  would  say,  it  is  better  to  be 

An  old  mans  derling  than  ayong  mans  werling. 

In  my  old  husbands  daies,  for  as  tenderly 

He  loved  me  as  ye  love  me  slenderly, 

We  drew  both  in  one  line.    Quoth  he,  would  to  our  Lord 

Ye  had,  in  that  drawing  hangd  both  in  one  cord. 

For  I  never  meete  thee  at  flesh  nor  at  fish, 

4  //  is  merrie  in  hall  when  beards  wagge  all. 
Swithe  mury  hit  is  in  halle, 
When  burdes  wawen  alle. 

Life  of  A  lexander,  1312. 

Silence.  Be  merry,  be  merry,  my  wife  has  all ; 
For  women  are  shrews,  both  short  and  tall, 
3Tis  merry  in  hall,  when  beards  wag  all. 

2  Henry  IV.  v.  3. 

JOHN   HEY  WOOD.  139 

But  I  have  sure  a  dead  mans  head  in  my  dish? 
Whose  best  and  worst  day,  that  wisht  may  be, 
Was  when  thou  didst  burie  him  and  marrie  me. 
If  you,  quoth  I,  long  for  change  in  these  cases, 
Would  to  God  he  and  you  had  changed  places. 
But  best  I  change  place,  for  here  I  may  be  sparde, 
And  for  my  kinde  comming,  this  is  my  rewarde. 
Must  she  not,  (quoth  he),  be  welcome  to  us  all, 
Among  us  all  letting  such  a  farewell  fall  ? 
Such  carpenters,  such  chips,  (quoth  she),  folke  tell, 
Such  lips,  such  lettice,  such  welcome,  suck  farewell. 
Thine  owne  words,  (quoth  he),  thine  owne  welcome 


Well,  (said  she),  whensoever  we  twaine  have  jard, 
My  words  be  pried  at  narrowly  I  espie, 
Ye  can  see  a  mote  in  another  mans  eie, 
But  ye  cannot  see  a  balke  in  your  owne. 
Ye  marke  my  wordes,  but  not  that  they  be  growne 
By  your  revellous  riding  on  every  royle,6 
Welny  every  day  a  new  mare  or  a  moyle, 
As  much  unhonest  as  unprofitable, 
Which  shall  bring  us  shortly  to  be  unable, 

5  A  dead  mans  head  in  my  dish. 

As  bold-fac'd  women,  when  they  wed  another; 
Banquet  their  husbands  with  their  dead  love's  heads. 

MARSTON'S  Insatiate  Countess. 

6  Royle,  i.e.  a  Flemish  horse. 

140  THE   PROVERBS    OF 

To  give  a  dog  a  loafe,  as  I  have  oft  said. 

How  be  it  your  pleasure  may  no  time  be  denaid, 

But  still  you  must  have  both  the  finest  meate, 

Apparell,  and  all  things  that  money  may  get, 

Like  one  of  fond  fancie  so  fine  and  so  neate, 

That  would  have  better  bread  than  is  made  of  wheate. 

The  best  is  best  cheape?  (quoth  he),  men  say  cleere. 

Well,  (quoth  she),  a  man  may  buy  gold  too  deere. 

Ye  neither  care,  nor  welny  cast  what  ye  pay, 

To  buy  the  deerestfor  the  best  alway. 

Then  for  your  diet  who  useth  feeding  such, 

Eate  more  than  enough,  and  drinke  much  more  too 

But    temprance    teacheth    this,    where    he    keepeth 

schoole ; 

He  that  knoweth  when  he  hath  enough  is  no  foole. 
Feed  by  measure,  and  defie  the  phisition  ! 
And  in  the  contrarie  mark  this  condition ; 
A  swine  over  fat  is  cause  of  his  owne  bane. 
Who  seeth  nought  herein,  his  wit  is  in  the  wane. 
But  pompous  provision,  comth  not  all  alway 

7  The  best  is  best  cheape. 

Whereto  shuld  I  threpe  ? 
With  my  staff  can  I  lepe, 
And  men  say,  "  lyght  chepe 
Letherly  for-yeldys." 

Towneley  Mysteries,  circa  1420. 


Of  gluttonie,  but  pride  sometime,  some  say. 

But  this  proverbe  preacheth  to  men  haute  or  hie, 

Hew  not  too  hie,  lest  the  chips  fall  in  thine  eye? 

Measure  is  a  merrie  meane?  as  this  doth  show, 

Not  too  hie  for  the  pie  nor  too  low  for  the  crow. 

The  difference  between  staring  and  stark  blinde, 

The  wise  man  at  all  times  to  follow  can  finde. 

And  ywis  an  auditour  of  a  meane  wit, 

May  soone  account,  though  hereafter  come  not  yit. 

Yet  is  he  sure  be  the  day  never  so  long, 

Evermore  at  last  they  ring  to  evensong.™ 

And  where  ye  spend  much  though  ye  spent  but  lickell, 

Yet  little  and  little  the  cat  eateth  theflickell. 

Little  losse  by  length  may  grow  importable. 

A  mouse  in  time  may  bite  a  two  a  cable. 

Thus  to  end  of  all  things,  be  we  leefe  or  loth, 

8  Hew  not  too  hie,  &*c. 

For  an  old  proverbe  it  is  ledged  "  he  that  heweth  to  hie,  with 
chips  he  may  lose  his  sight."     CHAUCER,  Testament  of  Love. 

9  Measure  is  a  merrie  meane. 

Magn.  Yet  mesure  is  a  mery  mene. 
Fan.  Ye,  syr,  a  blannched  almonde  is  no  bene, 
Measure  is  mete  for  a  marchauntes  hall. 

Interlude  of  Magnyfycence,  circa  1520. 

10  Be  the  day  never  so  long,  &*<:. 

For  though  the  day  be  never  so  long 
At  last  the  bell  rings  for  evensong. 

STEPHEN  HAWES,  Pastime  of  Pleasure. 

142  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Yet  loe,  the  pot  so  long  to  the  water  goth, 
Till  at  last  it  commeth  home  broken.™- 
Few  words  to  the  wise  suffise  to  be  spoken. 
If  ye  were  wise,  here  were  enough,  (quoth  she). 
Here  is  enough  and  too  much,  dame,  (quoth  he). 
For  though  this  appeare  a  proper  pulpit  peece, 
Yet  when  the  foxe  preacheth,  then  beware  your  geese. 
A  good  tale  ill  tolde,  in  the  telling  is  mard. 
So  are,  (quoth  she),  good  tales  well  tolde,  and  ill"  hard. 
Thy  tales,  (quoth  he),  shew  long  haire  and  short 

11  The  pot  so  long  to  the  water  goth,  &C. 

And  th  erf  ore  it  is  a  trew  proverbe,  >at  "  The  potte  may  goo 
so  longe  to  water,  that  atte  the  laste  it  is  broken  ;"  as  this  leude 
woman  that  had  her  husbonde  ten  tymes  fairer  thanne  the 
prioure  the  which  she  toke,  and  that  she  was  ascaped  bi  the 
\  helpe  of  the  false  bauude  her  godsib  of  ij  suche  periles  that  her 
husbonde  hadde  founde  by  her,  and  after  that  she  had  broken 
her  husbondes  comaundement,  and  therefor  he  brake  her  legges, 
and  yet  she  wolde  not  be  chastised. — The  Book  of  the  Knight 
of  La  Tour-Landry^  MS.  circa  1450. 

As  every  storme  hath  his  calme,  and  the  greatest  spring-tide 
the  deadest  ebbe,  so  fared  it  with  Francesco  ;  for  so  long  went 
the  pot  to  the  water,  that  at  last  it  came  broken  home,  and  so  long 
put  he  his  hand  into  his  purse,  that  at  last  the  empty  bottome 
returned  him  a  writ  of  Non  est  inventus :  for  well  might  the  divell 
daunce  there,  for  ever  a  crosse  there  was  to  keep  him  backe. — 
GREENE'S  Never  too  Late,  1590. 

13  Long  haire  and  short  wit. 

Hair  !  ;tis  the  basest  stubble  ;  in  scorn  of  it 
The  proverb  sprung,— He  has  more  hair  than  wit. 

DECKER'S  Satiromastix,  1602. 


But  long  be  thy  legs,  and  short  be  thy  life. 
Pray  for  yourself .     I  am  not  sick,  (quoth  she). 
Well  lets  see  what  thy  last  tale  comth  to,  (quoth  he). 
Thou  saist  I  spend  all,  to  this  thy  words  wander : 
But  as  deepe  drinketh  the  goose  as  the  gander. 
Thou  canst  cough  in  the  aumbrie  if  neede  bee, 
When  I  shall  cough  without  bread  or  broth  for  thee. 
Whereby  while  thou  sendst  me  abrode  to  spend, 
Thou  gossipst  at  home  to  meete  me  at  lands  end. 
Well,  thou  wouldst  have  me,  (quoth  he),  pinch  like  a 


Every  day  to  be  thy  drivell  and  drudge. 
Not  so,  (quoth  she),  but  I  would  have  ye  sturre 
Honestly  to  keepe  the  wo o If e  from  the  durre. 
I  would  drive  the  woolfe  out  of  doore  first,  (quoth  he) ; 
And  that  can  I  not  doe,  till  I  drive  out  thee. 
A  man  were  better  be  drownd  in  Venice  gulfe 
Than  have  such  a  bearded  beare,  or  such  a  woolfe. 
But  had  I  not  been  witcht,  my  wedding  to  flee, 
The  termes  that  long  to  wedding  had  warnd  mee, 
First  wooing  for  woing,  banna  for  banning, 
The  banes  for  my  bane,  and  then  this  thus  scanning. 

Speed.  Item  she  hath  more  hair  than  wit. 

Launce.  More  hair  than  wit, — it  may  be  ;  I'll  prove  it :  The 
cover  of  the  salt  hides  the  salt,  and  therefore  it  is  more  than  the 
salt :  the  hair,  that  covers  the  wit,  is  more  than  the  wit,  for  the 
greater  hides  the  less. — Two  Gentlemen  of  Verona,  iii.  2. 

144  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Marrying,  marring.     And  what  maried  I  than  ? 

A  woman.     As  who  say,  woe  to  the  man. 

Thus  wed  I  with  woe,  wed  I  Gill,  wed  I  Jane, 

I  pray  God  the  divell  goe  with  thee  downe  the  lane. 

I  graunt,  (quoth  she),  this  doth  sound,  (as  ye  agreed), 

On  your  side  in  words,  but  on  my  side  in  deede. 

Thou  grantst  this  graunt,  (quoth  he),  without  any  grace 

Ungraciously,  to  thy  side  to  turne  this  case. 

Leave  this,  (quoth  she),  and  leave  liberalitie, 

To  stint  strife,  growne  by  your  prodigalitie. 

Oft  said  the  wise  man,  whom  I  erst  did  berrie, 

Better  are  meales  many,  than  one  too  merrie. 

Well,  (quoth  he),  that  is  answered  with  this,  wife : 

Better  is  one  months  cheere,  than  a  churles  whole  life. 

I  thinke  it  learning  of  a  wiser  lectour, 

To  learne  to  make  my  selfe  mine  owne  erectour, 

Than  spare  for  another  that  might  .wed  thee, 

As  the  foole  thy  first  husband  spared  for  mee. 

And  as  for  ill  places,  thou  seekest  me  in  more 

And  in  woorse  too,  than  I  into  any  goe. 

Whereby  this  proverbe  shewth  thee  in  by  the  weeke, 

No  man  will  another  in  the  oven  seeke, 

Except  that  himself e  hath  been  there  before™ 

13  No  man  will  another  in  the  oven  seeke,  except  that  himself  e 
hath  been  there  before. 

A  hackney  proverb  in  mens  mouths  ever  since  King  Lud  was 

JOHN    HEY  WOOD.  145 

God  give  grace  them  hast  been  good,  I  say  no  more, 
And  would  have  thee  say  lesse  except  thou  couldst 


Such  processe  as  thou  slanderously  dost  move. 
For  slaunder  perchance,  (quoth  she),  I  not  deny, 
It  may  be  a  slaunder,  but  it  is  no  ly. 
It  is  a  lye,  (quoth  he),  and  thou  a  Her. 
Will  ye,  (quoth  she),  drive  me  to  touch  ye  nyer  ? 
I  rub  the  gald  horse  back,  till  he  winch,  and  yit, 
He  would  make  it  seeme  that  I  touch  him  no  whit. 
But  I  wot  what  I  wot,  though  I  few  words  make  : 
Many  kisse  the  child  for  the  nurses  sake. 
Ye  have  many  god  children  to  looke  upon, 
And  ye  blesse  them  all,  but  ye  basse  but  one. 
This  halfe  shewth  what  the  whole  meaneth,  that  I  meeve, 
Ye  fetch  circumquaques  to  make  me  beleeve, 
Or  thinke,  that  the  moone  is  made  of  a  greene  cheese^ 
And  when  ye  have  made  me  a  lout  in  all  these, 
It  seemeth  ye  would  make  me  goe  to  bed  at  noone. 

a  little  boy,  or  Belinus,  Brennus'  brother,  for  the  love  heebare  to 
oysters,  built  Billingsgate. — N ASH'S  Have  with  you  to  Saffron 
Waldon,  1596. 

14  The  moone  is  made  of  a  greene  cheese. 

Whilst  they  tell  for  truthe  Luther  his  lowde  lyes,  so  that  they 
may  make  theyr  blinde  brotherhode  and  the  ignorant  sort  beleve 
that  the  mone  is  made  of  grene  chese. — SHACKLOCK'S  Hatchet  of 
Heresies,  1565. 


Nay,  (quoth  he),  the  day  of  doome  shall  be  doone, 

Ere  thou  goe  to  bed  at  noone  or  night  for  mee. 

Thou  art,  (to  be  plaine  and  not  to  flatter  thee), 

As  holsome  a  morsell  for  niy  comely  corse 

As  a  shoulder  of  mutton  for  a  sicke  horse. 

The  divell  with  his  dam  hath  more  rest  in  hell, 

Than  I  have  here  with  thee :  but  well,  wife,  well ! 

Well,  well,  (quoth  she),  many  wels,  many  buckets. 

Yea,  (quoth  he),  and  many  words,  many  buffets. 

Had  you  some  husband,  and  snapt  at  him  thus, 

I  wis  he  would  give  you  a  recumbentibus. 

A  dog  will  barke  ere  he  bite,  and  so  thow, 

After  thy  barking  wilt  bite  me,  I  trow  now. 

But  it  is  hard  to  make  an  old  dog  stoup,  lo. 

Sir,  (quoth  she),  a  man  may  handle  his  dog  so 

That  he  may  make  him  bite  him,  though  he  would  not. 

Husbands  are  in  heaven,  (quoth  he),  whose  wives  scold 


Thou  makest  me  claw  where  it  itcheth  not.     I  would 
Thy  tongue  were  coold  to  make  thy  tales  more  cold. 
That  aspen  leafe  such  spitefull  clapping  hath  bred, 
That  my  cap  is  better  at  ease  then  my  head. 
God  send  that  head,  (sayd  she),  a  better  nurse : 
For  when  the  head  aketh,  all  the  bodie  is  the  wurse. 
God  grant,  (quoth  I),  the  head  and  bodie  both  two, 
To  nurse  each  other  better  then  they  do  : 

JOHN  HEY  WOOD.  147 

Or  ever  have  done  for  the  most  times  past. 

I  brought  to  nurse  both,  (quoth  she),  had  it  not  been 


Margerie  good  coiv,  (quoth  he),  gave  a  good  meale  : 
But  then  she  cast  it  downe  againe  with  her  heele. 
How  can  her  purse  for  profit  be  delitefull, 
Whose  person  and  properties  be  thus  spitefull  ? 
A  peece  of  a  kid  is  worth  two  of  a  cat. 
Who  the  dive  II  will  change  a  r abet  for  a  rat  ? 
If  I  might  change,  I  would  rather  choose  to  begge, 
Or  sit  with  a  roasted  apple  or  an  egge, 
Where  mine  appetite  serveth  mee  to  bee, 
Then  every  day  to  fare  like  a  Duke  with  thee. 
Like  a  Duke,  like  a  Duke,  (quoth  she),  thou  shalt  fare, 
Except  thou  wilt  spare  more  than  thou  dost  yet  spare. 
Thou  farest  too  well  (quoth  he),  but  thou  art  so  wood, 
Thou  knowst  not  who  doth  thee  harme,  who  doth  thee 


Yes  yes,  (quoth  she),  for  all  those  wise  words  uttred, 
/  know  on  which  side  my  bread  is  buttred : 15 
But  there  will  no  butter  cleave  on  my  bread  : 
And  on  my  bread  any  butter  to  be  spread ; 
Every  promise  that  thou  therein  dost  utter, 

15  /  knew  on  which  side  my  bread  is  buttred. 
One  of  the  proverbs  Samuel  Fox  has  jotted  down  in  his  common- 
place book,  MS.  LANSDOWNE,  679. 


Is  as  sure  as  it  were  sealed  with  butter, 

Or  a  mouse  tyed  with  a  threed.     Every  good  thing 

Thou  lettest  even  slip,  like  a  waghalter  slipstring. 

But  take  up  in  time,  or  els  I  protest, 

All  be  not  in  bed  that  shall  have  ill  rest. 

Now  goe  to  thy  derlings,  and  declare  thy  griefe  : 

Where  all  thy  pleasure  is,  hop  whore,  pipe  thiefe. 


this  thence  hopt  she,  wherewith,  O  Lord, 

he  cride, 
What  wretch  but  I,  this  wretchedness  could 

bide  ? 

Howbeit  in  all  this  woe,  I  have  no  wrong, 
For  it  onely  is  all  on  my  selfe  along. 
Where  I  should  have  bridled  her  first  with  rough  bit, 
To  have  made  her  chew  on  the  bridle  one  fit, 
For  licorous  lucre  of  a  little  winning, 
I  gave  her  the  bridle  at  beginning. 
And  now  she  taketh  the  bridle  in  the  teeth, 
And  runn'th  away  with  it,  whereby  each  man  seeth, 
It  is,  (as  old  men  right  well  understand), 


III  putting  a  nak't  sword  in  a  mad  mans  hand. 
She  takth  siich  hart  of  grace ^  though  I  maime  her, 
Or  kill  her,  yet  shall  I  never  reclaime  her. 
She  hath,  (they  say),  been  stiffe  necked  evermore, 
And  it  is  ill  healing  of  an  old  sore. 
This  proverbe  prophecied  many  yeares  agone, 
It  will  not  out  of  the  flesh,  that  is  bred  in  the  bone}1 
What  chance  have  I,  to  have  a  wife  of  such  sort, 
That  will  no  fault  amend  in  earnest  nor  sport  ? 
A  small  thing  amisse  lately  I  did  espie, 
Which  to  make  her  mend,  by  a  jest  merrilie, 
I  said  but  this  ;  taunt  tivet  wife,  your  nose  drops, 
So  it  may  fall,  I  will  eate  no  browesse  sops 
This  day.     But  two  daies  after  this  came  in  ure, 
I  had  sorow  to  my  sops  enough,  be  sure. 
Well  (quoth  I),  it  is  ill  jesting,  on  the  sooth  : 

16  She  takth  such  hart  of  grace. 

This  proverbial  sentence  would  seem  to  have  originally  been 
"  to  take  heart  at  grass  "  from  the  idea  of  an  animal  at  grass 
becoming  strong  and  hearty. 

Seeing  she  would  take  no  warning,  on  a  day  took  heart  at 
grasse,  and  belaboured  her  well  with  a  cudgel. — TARLTON'S  News 
out  of  Purgatory ,  1590. 

17  It  will  not  out  of  the  flesh,  &*c. 

Downright.  He  values  me  at  a  crack'd  three  farthings,  for 
aught  I  see.  It  will  never  out  of  the  flesh  that's  bred  in  the  bone. 
I  have  told  him  enough,  one  would  think,  if  that  would  serve  : 
but  counsel  to  him  is  as  good  as  a  shoulder  of  mutton  to  a  sick 
horse. — BEN  JONSON,  Every  Man  in  his  Humour. 


Sooth  bourd  is  no  bourd™  in  ought  that  mirth  dooth. 

Such  jests  could  not  juggle  her,  were  ought  amis, 

Nor  turne  melancholy  to  mirth  :  for  it  is 

No  playing  with  a  straw  before  an  old  cat ; 

Every  trifling  toy  age  cannot  laugh  at. 

Ye  may  walke  this  way,  but  sure  ye  shall  finde, 

The  further  ye  goe,  the  further  behinde. 

Ye  shoulde  consider  the  woman  is  olde  : 

And  what  for  a  hot  word.     Soone  hot,  soone  colde. 

Beare  with  them  that  beare  with  you,  for  she  is  scand, 

Not  onely  the  fairest  flowre  in  your  garland, 

But  also  she  is  all  the  faire  flowers  thereof. 

Will  ye  requite  her  then  with  a  taunting  scof, 

Or  with  any  other  kinde  of  unkindnes  ? 

Take  heede  is  a  faire  thing :  beware  this  blindnes. 

Why  will  ye,  (quoth  he),  I  shall  follow  her  will, 

To  make  me  John  drawlatch,19  or  such  a  snekebill, 

To  bring  her  solace  that  bringeth  me  sorow  ? 

18  Sooth  bourd  is  no  bourd. 

Sooth  is  an  old  English  word  meaning  "in  earnest ;"  bourd 
means  "a  jest." 

As  the  old  saying  is,  sooth  boord  is  no  boord. — HARRINGTON'S 
Brief e  Apologie  of  Poetrie,  1591. 

19  John  drawlatch. 

Well,  phisition,  attend  me  in  my  chamber  heere,  till  Stilt  and 
I  returne ;  and  if  I  pepper  him  not,  say  I  am  not  worthy  to  be 
cald  a  duke  but  a  drawlatch. — Tragedy  of  Hoffman,  1602. 


Bir  Ladie,  then  shall  we  catch  birds  to  morow. 

A  good  wife  maketh  a  good  husband,  (they  say). 

That  (quoth  I),  you  may  turne  another  way : 

To  make  a  good  husband,  make  a  good  wife  ; 

I  can  no  more  herein,  but  God  stint  all  strife. 

Amen,  (quoth  he),  and  God  have  mercie  brother, 

I  will  now  mend  this  house  and  payre  another. 

And  that  he  ment  of  likelihood  by  his  owne  ; 

For  so  appaird  he  that,  ere  three  yeares  were  growne, 

That  little  and  little  he  decayed  so  long, 

Till  he  at  length  came  to  buckle  and  bare  thong. 

To  discharge  charge,  that  necessarily  grew, 

There  was  no  more  water  then  the  ship  drew. 

Money  and  money  worth  did  so  misse  him, 

That  he  had  not  now  one peny  to  blisse  him. 

Which  foreseene  in  this  woman,  wisely  waying, 

That  meet  was  to  stay  somewhat  for  her  staying, 

To  keepe  yet  one  messe  for  Alison  in  store, 

She  kept  one  bagge,  that  he  had  not  seene  before. 

A  poore  cooke  that  may  not  licke  his  owne  fingers  ; 20 

But  about  her  at  home  now  still  he  lingers, 

20  A  poore  cooke,  &>c. 

He  is  an  evyll  coke  yl  can  not  lycke  his  owne  lippes. —  Vulgaria 
Stambrigi,  circa  1510. 

Capulet.  Sirrah,  go  hire  me  twenty  cunning  cooks. 

2  Servant.  You  shall  have  none  ill,  sir  ;  for  I'll  try  if  they  can 
lick  their  fingers. — Romeo  and  Juliet,  iv.  2. 

152  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

But  whether  any  secret  tales  were  sprinkling, 
Or  that  he  by  gesse  had  got  an  inkling 
Of  her  hoord  :  or  that  he  thought  to  amend 
And  turne  his  ill  beginning  to  a  good  end, 
In  shewing  himselfe  a  new  man,  as  was  fit, 
That  appeared  shortly  after,  but  not  yit. 


|NE  day  in  their  arbour  which  stood  so  to 


That  I  might  and  did  closely  mine  eare  incline, 
And  likewise  cast  mine  eare  to  heare  and  see, 
What  they  said  and  did,  where  they  could  not  see  mee, 
He  unto  her  a  goodly  tale  began, 
More  like  a  wooer  than  a  wedded  man, 
As  far  as  matter  thereof  therein  served, 
But  the  first  part  from  words  of  wooing  swerved  : 
And  stood  upon  repentance,  with  submission 
Of  his  former  crooked  unkind  condition. 
Praying  her  to  forgive  and  forget  all  free, 
As  he  forgave  her,  as  he  forgiven  would  bee : 
Loving  her  now  as  he  full  deeply  swore, 
As  hotly  as  ever  he  loved  her  before. 

JOHN  HEY  WOOD.  153 

Well,  well,  (quoth  she),  whatever  ye  now  say, 

//  is  too  late  to  call  againe  yesterday. 

Wife,  (quoth  he),  such  may  my  diligence  seeme, 

That  th'  offence  of  yesterday  I  may  redeeme. 

God  taketh  me  as  I  am,  and  not  as  I  was  ; 

Take  you  me  so  too,  and  let  all  things  past  pas. 

I  pray  thee  good  wife,  think  I  speake    and   thinke 


What !  he  runrith  far  that  never  turnth  againe. 
Ye  be  yong  enough  to  mend,  I  agree  it, 
But  I  am,  (quoth  she),  too  old  to  see  it. 
And  amend  ye  or  not,  I  am  too  old  a  yeere : 
What  is  life,  where  living  is  extinct  cleere, 
Namely  at   old   yeares   of   least   helpe    and    most 

neede  ? 

But  no  tale  could  tune  you  in  time  to  take  heede. 
If  I  tune  myself  now,  (quoth  he),  it  is  faire  : 
And  hope  of  true  tune,  shall  tune  me  from  dispaire. 
Beleeve  well  and  have  well,  men  say.    Yea,  (said  shee) ; 
Doe  well  and  have  well,  men  say  also,  we  see. 
But  what  man  can  beleeve,  that  man  can  doe  well, 
Who  of  no  man  will  counsaile  take,  or  heare  tell  ? 
Which  to  you,  when  any  man  any  way  tride, 
Then  were  ye  deafe,  ye  coidd  not  heare  on  that  side. 
Who  ever  with  you  any  time  therein  weares, 
He  must  both  tell  you  a  tale,  and  lend  you  eares. 

154  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

You  had  on  your  harvest  eares,1  thicke  of  hearing, 

But  this  is  a  question  of  old  enquering : 

Who  is  so  deafe  or  so  blinde,  as  is  hee, 

That  wilfully  will  neither  heare  nor  see  ? 

When  I  saw  your  maner,  my  heart  for  woe  molt. 

Then  would  ye  mend  as  thefletcher  mends  his  bolt, 

Or  sowre  ale  mendeth  in  summer,  I  know, 

And  kneWy  which  way  the  winde  blew  and  will  blow. 

Though  not  to  my  profit  a  prophet  was  1 : 

I  prophecied  this,  too  true  a  prophecie. 

When  I  was  right  ill  beleeved,  and  worse  hard, 

By  flinging  from  your  folkes  at  home,  which  all  mard. 

When  I  said  in  semblance  either  cold  or  warme, 

A  man  far  from  his  good r,  is  nigh  his  harme. 

Or  wild  ye  to  looke,  that  ye  lost  no  more, 

On  such,  as  shew  that  hungrieflyes  bite  sore. 

Then  would  ye  looke  over  me  with  stomack  swolne, 

Like  as  the  dive II  look't  over  Lincolnes 

1  You  had  on  your  harvest  eares. 

Thine  eares  be  on  pilgrimage,  or  in  the  wildernes,  as  they  say 
commonly,  thou  hast  on  thy  harvest  eares,  vestrce  peregrinantur 
aures. —  Withal 's  Dictionary,  1608. 

2  Like  as  the  divell  lootft  over  Lincolne. 

A  Tour  through  England  and  Wales,  1742,  gives  the  following 
as  the  origin  of  the  proverb  : — 

The  middle  or  Rood  tower  of  Lincoln  cathedral  is  the  highest 
in  the  whole  kingdom,  and  when  the  spire  was  standing  on  it, 
it  must,  in  proportion  to  the  height  of  the  tower,  have  exceeded 

JOHN    HEYWOOD.  155 

The  divell  is  dead  wife,  (quoth  he),  for  ye  see, 
I  looke  like  a  Lambe  in  all  your  words  to  mee. 
Looke  as  ye  list  now,  (quoth  she),  thus  look't  ye  than ; 
And  for  those  lookes  I  shew  this,  to  shew  each  man, 
Such  proofe  of  this  proverbe,  as  none  is  greater : 
Which  saith,  that  some  man  may  steale  a  horse  better 
Than  some  other  may  stand  and  looke  upon? 
Lewd  huswives  might  have  words,  but  I  not  one 
That  might  be  allowd.     But  now  if  ye  looke, 
In  mistaking  me  ye  may  see,  yee  tooke 

that  of  old  St.  Paul's,  which  was  five  hundred  and  twenty  feet. 
The  monks  were  so  proud  of  this  structure,  that  they  would  have 
it  that  the  Devil  looked  upon  it  with  an  envious  eye :  whence  the 
proverb  of  a  man  who  looks  invidious  and  malignant,  "  he  looks 
as  the  Devil  over  Lincoln." 

Another  account  is  given  by  Ray  in  1737  : — 

Some  refer  this  to  Lincoln  Minster,  over  which  when  first 
finished,  the  Devil  is  supposed  to  have  looked  with  a  torne  and 
terrick  countenance,  as  envying  men's  costly  devotion,  saith  Dr. 
Fuller ;  but  more  probable  it  is,  that  it  took  its  rise  from  a  small 
image  of  the  Devil,  standing  on  the  top  of  Lincoln  College,  in 

It  \^ill  be  remembered  that  in  Sir  Walter  Scott's  novel  of 
Kenilixjorth)  Giles  Gosling,  the  host  of  the  Black  Bear  at 
Cumnor,  thus  addresses  Tressilian  : — "  Here  be  a  set  of  good 
fellows  willing  to  be  merry  ;  do  not  scowl  on  them  like  the 
Devil  looking  over  Lincoln." 

3  Some  man  may  steale  a  horse,  d^c. 

Tophas.  Good  Epi,  let  mee  take  a  nap  ;  for  as  some  man  may 
better  steale  a  horse  then  another  looke  over  a  hedge  ;  so  divers 
shall  be  sleepie  when  they  would  fainest  take  rest. — LYLY'S 
Endimion,  1591. 

156  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

The  wrong  way  to  wood,  and  the  wrong  sow  by  ttt  eare ; , 
And  thereby  in  the  wrong  box  to  thrive,  yee  were. 
I  have  heard  some  to  some  tell  this  tale  not  seeld, 
When  thrift  is  in  the  towne,  yee  be  in  the  feeld. 
But  contrary,  you  make  that  sense  to  sowne, 
Whan  thrift  was  in  the  field,  ye  ware  in  the  towne. 
Field  ware  must  sinke  or  swim,  while  ye  had  eny : 
Towne  ware  was  your  ware,  to  turne  the  peny. 
But  towne  or  field,  where  most  thrift  did  appiere, 
What  ye  wan  iu  the  hundred,  ye  lost  in  the  shier e. 
In  all  your  good  husbandrie,  thus  rid  the  rock, 
Ye  stumbled  at  a  straw,  and  lept  over  a  block? 
So  many  kindes  of  increase  you  had  in  choice, 
And  nought  increase  or  keepe,  how  can  I  rejoice  ? 
Good  riding  at  two  ankers,  men  have  tolde, 
For  if  the  tone  faile,  the  tother  may  holde. 
But  you  leave  all  ankerhold  on  seas  and  lands : 

4  The  wrong  sow  by  th'  eare. 

Downright.  Well  !  he  knows  what  to  trust  to,  for  George  ; 
let  him  spend,  and  spend,  and  domineer  till  his  heart  ake,  an  he 
think  to  be  relieved  by  me,  when  he  has  got  into  one  o'your  city 
pounds,  the  counters,  he  has  the  wrong  sow  by  the  ear,  i'faith ; 
and  claps  his  dish  at  the  wrong  man's  door. — JONSON'S  Every 
Man  in  his  Humour,  ii.  7. 

5  Ye  stumbled  at  a  straw,  &>c. 

This  tale  touchethe  them,  that  wolde  cover  a  smalle  offence 
with  a  greatter  wyckednesse ;  and  as  the  proverbe  sayethe  : 
Stomble  at  a  strawe,  and  leape  over  a  blocke, — Mery  Tales  and 
Quicke  Answer es,  1567. 


And  so  set  zip  shop  upon  Goodwins  sands. 
But  as  folke  have  a  saying  both  old  and  trew, 
In  that  they  say,  blacke  will  take  none  other  hew. 
So  may  I  say  heere,  to  my  deepe  dolour, 
//  is  a  bad  cloth  that  will  take  no  colour. 
This  case  is  yours.     For  ye  were  so  wise, 
To  take  specke  of  colour,  of  good  advise. 
Th'  advise  of  all  friends  I  say,  one  and  other 
Went  in  at  the  tone  eare  and  out  at  the  tother? 
And  as  those  words  went  out,  this  proverbe  in  came, 
He  that  will  not  be  ruled  by  his  owne  dame, 
Shall  be  ruled  by  his  stepdame  ;  and  so  you, 
Having  lost  your  owne  good,  and  owne  friends  now, 
May  seeke  your  forreine  friends,  if  you  have  any. 
And  sure  one  of  my  great  griefs,  among  many, 
Is  that  ye  have  been  so  very  a  hog 
To  my  friends.     What  man,  love  me,  love  my  dog? 

6  In  at  the  tone  eare  and  out  at  the  tother. 

»But  Troilus,  that  nigh  for  sorrow  deide, 
Tooke  little  hede  of  all  that  ever  he  ment ; 
One  eare  it  heard,  at  the  other  out  it  went. 
CHAUCER,  Troilus  and  Creseide. 
1  Love  me,  love  my  dog. 

This  was  a  proverb  in  the  time  of  Saint  Bernard  : — Dicitur 
certe  vulgari  quodam  proverbio  :  Oui  me  amat,  amet  et  canem 
meum. — In  Festo  S.  Michaelis.  Sermo  Primus. 

Cudora.  Love  me  ? — love  my  dog  ! 

Tharsalis.  I  am  bound  to  that  by  the  proverb,  madam. 

CHAPMAN'S  Widow's  Tears,  1612. 

158  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

But  you  to  cast  precious  stones  before  hogs 
Cast  my  good  before  a  sort  of  dogs 
And  sawte  bitches  :  which  by  whom  now  devoured, 
And  your  honestie  among  them  defloured, 
And  that  you  may  no  more  expence  afoord, 
Now  can  they  not  affoord  you  one  good  woord, 
And  you  them  as  few.     And  old  folke  understood, 
When  theeves  fall  out,  true  men  come  to  their  good. 
Which  is  not  alway  true.     For  in  all  that  bretch, 
I  can  no  farthing  of  my  good  the  more  fetch, 
Nor  I  trow  themselves  neither,  if  they  were  sworne. 
Light  come,  light  goe?     And  sure  since  we  were  borne, 
Ruine  of  one  ravine,  was  there  none  gretter  : 
For  by  your  gifts  they  be  as  little  the  better, 
As  you  be  much  the  worse,  and  I  cast  away. 
An  ill  winde  that  bloweth  no  man  to  good?  men  say. 
Well  (quoth  he),  every  winde  blowth  not  downe  the  corne. 
I  hope,  (I  say),  good  hap  be  not  all  out-worne. 
I  will  now  begin  thrift,  when  thrift  seemeth  gone. 

8  Light  come,  light  goe. 

Wyte  them  wele  it  schall  be  so, 
That  lyghtly  cum,  schall  lyghtly  go. 

Debate  of  the  Carpenters  Tools. 

9  An  ill  winde,  &c. 

Falstaff.  What  wind  blew  you  hither,  Pistol  ? 
Pistol.  Not  the  ill  wind  which  blows  no  man  to  good. 

2  Henry  IV.  v.  3. 

JOHN  HEY  WOOD.  159 

What  wife  !  there  be  more  waies  to  the  wood  than  one. 

And  I  will  assay  all  the  waies  to  the  wood, 

Till  I  finde  one  way,  to  get  againe  this  good. 

Ye  will  get  it  againe,  (quoth  she),  I  feare, 

As  shortly  as  a  horse  will  licke  his  eare. 

Good  words  bring  not  ever  of  good  deedes  good  hope. 

And  these  words  shew  your  words  spoken  in  skorne, 

It  pricketh  betimes  that  will  be  a  good  thorne^ 

Timely  crooketh  the  tree,  that  will  a  good  camok  bee.11 

And  such  beginning  sitch  end,  we  all  day  see. 

And  you  by  me  at  beginning  being  thriven, 

And  then  to  keepe  thrift  could  not  be  prickt  nor  driven. 

How  can  ye  now  get  thrift,  the  stocke  being  gon, 

Which  is  the  onely  thing  to  raise  thrift  upon  ? 

Men  say,  he  may  ill  runne  that  cannot  go e, 

And  your  gaine  without  your  stocke  runneth  even  so. 

For  what  is  a  workman  without  his  tooles  ? 

Tales  of  Robin  Hood  are  good  for  fooles. 

10  It  pricketh  betimes  that  will  be  a  good  thorne. 

In  the  interlude  of  Jacob  and  Esau,  1568,  the  old  nurse  Debora, 
while  making  preparations  for  Isaac's  repast,  sings  : — 
It  hath  bene  a  proverbe  before  I  was  borne, 
Yong  doth  it  pricke  that  wyll  be  a  thorne. 

11  Timely  crooketh  the  tree,  &£. 

A  camok  is  a  crooked  piece  or  knee  of  timber,  most  frequently 
used  in  ship-building. 

Timely,  madam,  crooks  the  tree  that  will  be  a  camock,  and 
young  it  pricks  that  will  be  a  thorn. — LYLY'S  Endimion. 

160  THE   PROVERBS    OF 

Hee  can  ill  pype,  that  lacketh  his  upper  lippe. 
Who  lacketh  a  stock,  his  gaine  is  not  worth  a  chip. 
A  tale  of  a  tubbe  ;12  your  tale  no  truth  avouth, 
Ye  speake  now  as  yee  would  creepe  into  my  mouth  ; 
In  pure  paynted  processe,  as  false  as  fay  re y 
How  yee  will  amend,  when  ye  cannot  apayre. 
I  heard  once  a  wise  man  say  to  his  daughter, 
Better  is  the  last  smile,  than  the  first  laughter. 
Wee  shall  I  trust,  (quoth  he),  laugh  again  at  last, 
Although  I  be  once  out  of  the  saddle  cast. 
Yet  since  I  am  bent  to  sit,  this  will  I  doo, 
Recover  the  horse,  or  leese  the  saddle  too. 

12  A  tale  of  a  tubbe. 

The  translator  of  Delia  Casa's  Galatea,  1576,  finds  for  an 
Italian  phrase  signifying  "  contention,"  the  English  equivalent 
"  a  tale  of  a  tubbe/'  Such,  he  says,  it  is  to  say  : — 

Such  an  one  that  was  the  sonne  of  such  a  one,  that  dwelt  in 
Cocamer  street  :  do  you  knowe  him  ?  he  married  the  daughter  of 
Gianfigliazzi,  the  leane  scragg  that  went  so  much  to  St.  Laraunce. 
No,  do  not  you  know  him?  why  do  not  you  remember  the  goodly 
strayght  old  man  that  ware  long  haire  downe  to  his  shoulders?  &c. 
In  BEN  JONSON'S  comedy  of  this  name,  when  Squire  Tub  of 
Tottenham  commands  the  company  of  mechanics  to  perform  a 
stage  play  before  him,  he  directs, — 

Fd  have  a  toy  presented, 
A  Tale  of  a  Tub,  a  story  of  myself, 
You  can  express  a  Tub  •? 

To  which  Medlay,  the  joiner,  replies  : — 

I  can  express  a  wash-house,  if  need  be, 
With  a  whole  pedigree  of  Tubs. 

JOHN  HEY  WOOD.  161 

Yee  never  could  yet,  (quoth  shee),  recover  any  hap, 

To  win  or  save  ought,  to  stoppe  any  one  gap. 

For  stopping  of  gap,  (quoth  he),  care  not  a  rush. 

I  will  learne  to  stop  two  gaps  with  one  bush. 

Yee  will,  (quoth  shee),  as  soone  stop  gaps  with  rushes 

As  with  any  husbandly  handsom  bushes. 

Your  tales  have  lyke  tast,  where  temprance  is  taster, 

To  breake  my  head,  and  then  geve  me  a  plaster. 

Now  thrift  is  gone,  now  would  yee  thrive  in  all  haste, 

And  whan  yee  had  thrift,  yee  had  lyke  hast  to  waste. 

Yee  liked  then  better  an  ynch  of  your  will, 

Than  an  ell  of  your  thrift.     Wife,  (quoth  he),  be  still 

May  I  be  holpe  foorth  an  ynch  at  a  pinch, 

I  will  yet  thrive,  (I  say),  as  good  is  an  ynch 

As  an  ell.     Yee  can,  (quoth  shee),  make  it  so  well, 

For  when  I  gave  you  an  inch,  you  tooke  an  ell, 

Till  both  ell  and  inch  be  gone,  and  we  in  det 

Nay,  (quoth  he),  with  a  wet  finger™  ye  can  set 

As  much  as  may  easily  all  this  matter  ease, 

And  this  debate  also  pleasantly  appease. 

I  could  doo  as  much  with  an  hundred  pounds  now, 

13  With  a  wet  finger. 

To  obtain  anything  with  a  wet  finger  seems  to  be  a  figurative 
phrase  for  obtaining  it  with  ease  ;  and  is  supposed  to  derive  its 
use  from  the  habit  of  tracing  a  lady's  name  on  the  table  with 
spilt  wine  to  serve  the  purposes  of  gallantry  and  intrigue.  Such  a 
practice  was  not  unknown  to  the  amatory  poets  of  antiquity : — 


1 62  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

As  with  a  thowsand  afore,  I  assure  you. 

Yea,  (quoth  she),  who  had  that  he  hath  not,  would 

Doo  that  hee  doth  not,  as  old  men  have  told. 

Had  I  as  yee  have  I  would  do  more  (quoth  hee) 

Than  the  Priest  spake  of  on  Sunday,  yee  should  see. 

Ye  doo,  as  I  have,  (quoth  shee),  for  nought  I  have, 

And  nought  yee  doo.     What  man !  I  trow  yee  rave. 

Would  yee  both  eat  your  cake,  and  have  your  cake  ? 

Yee  have  had  of  mee  al  that  I  would  make ; 

And  bee  a  man  never  so  greedy  to  win, 

Hee  can  have  no  more  of  the  foxe  but  the  skin. 

Well,  (quoth  he),  if  ye  list  to  bring  it  out, 

Yee  can  geve  me  your  blessing  in  a  cloute. 

That  were  for  my  childe,  (quoth  she),  had  I  ony, 

Verba  leges  digitis,  verba  notata  mero. 

OVID,  Amor.  i.  4.  20. 
So  in  Tibullus,  lib.  i.  el.  6  : — 

Neu  te  decipiat  nutu,  digitoque  liquorem 

Ne  trahat,  et  mensae  ducat  in  orbe  notas. 
The  use  of  this  expression  is  frequent  among  the  Elizabeth- 
ans, but  does  not  seem  to  have  descended  to  the  later  writers. 

Enquire  what  gallants  sup  in  the  next  room  ;  and  if  they  be 
any  of  your  acquaintance,  do  not  you,  after  the  city  fashion, 
send  in  a  pottle  of  wine  and  your  name,  .  ,  .  but  rather  keep  a 
boy  in  fee,  who  underhand  shall  proclaim  you  in  every  room, 
what  a  gallant  fellow  you  are,  how  much  you  spend  yearly  in 
taverns,  what  a  great  gamester,  what  custom  you  bring  to  the 
house,  in  what  witty  discourse  you  maintain  a  table,  what 
gentlewomen  or  citizens7  wives  you  can  with  a  wet  finger  have  at 
any  time  to  sup  with  you,  and  such  like. — The  Gull's  Hornbook, 


But  husband,  I  have  neither  child  nor  mony. 
Yee  cast  and  conjecture  thus  much,  lyke  in  show, 
As    the  blind  man  casts  his  staffe,  or  shootes  at  the 

crow  ; 

How  be  it,  had  I  money  right  much,  and  yee  none, 
Yet  to  be  plaine,  yee  should  have  for  Jone. 
Nay,  hee  that  first  flattreth  me,  as  yee  have  doone, 
And  doth,  as  yee  did  to  me  after,  so  soone  : 
Hee  may  be  in  tny  Pater  noster  in  deede, 
But  be  sure,  he  shall  never  come  into  my  Creede^ 
Ave  Maria,  (quoth  he),  how  much  motion 
Here  is  to  prayers,  with  how  little  devotion. 
But  some  men  say,  no  peny,  no  Pater  noster.^ 

14  Hee  may  be  hi  my  Pater  noster,  &C. 

I  trust  yee  remember  your  jugling  at  Newington  with  a 
christall  stone,  your  knaveries  in  the  wood  by  Wanstead,  the 
wondrous  treasure  you  would  discover  in  the  Isle  of  Wight,  al 
your  villanies  about  that  peece  of  service,  as  perfectly  known  to 
some  of  my  friends  yet  living  as  their  Pater-noster,  who  curse  the 
time  you  ever  came  into  their  creed. — CHETTLE'S  Kind-Heart's 
Dream,  1592. 

15  No  peny,  no  Pater  noster. 

The  Pater-noster,  which  was  wont  to  fill  a  sheet  of  paper,  is 
/ritten  in  the  compasse  of  a  penny  ;  whereupon  one  merrily 
,ssumed  that  proverbe  to  be  derived,  No  penny  no  pater-noster. 
Vhich  their  nice  curtayling  putteth  mee  in  minde  of  the  custome 
fthe  Scythians,  who,  if  they  had  beene  at  any  time  distressed 
ith  famine,  tooke  in  their  girdles  shorter. — GREENE'S  Arcadia, 


1 64  THE   PROVERBS    OF 

I  say  to  such,  (sayd  shee),  no  longer  foster, 

No  longer  lemman.     But  faire  and  well  than, 

Pray  and  shift  ech  one  for  himselfe  as  hee  can. 

Everyman  for  himselfe  and  God  for  us  all. 

To  those  wordes  he  sayd  nought,  but  forthwith  did 


From  harping  on  that  string,  to  faire  flattring  speech, 
And  as  I  erst  sayd,  hee  did  her  so  beseech, 
That  things  erst  so  far  off,  were  now  so  far  on, 
That  as  shee  may  wallow,  away  shee  is  gon, 
Where  all  that  was  left  lay  with  a  trustie  frend, 
Dwelling  a  good  walke  from  her  at  the  townes  end. 
And  backe  againe  straight  a  halting  pace  she 


Bringing  a  bag  of  royals  and  nobles, 
All  that  she  had  without  restraint  of  one  jote. 
She  brought  bullocks  noble :  for  noble  or  grote 
Had  she  not  one  more :  which  I  after  well  knew. 
And  anone  smiling  toward  him  as  she  drew, 
A  sir,  light  burden,  far  heavie,  (quoth  she) ; 
This  light  burden  in  long  walke  welny  tyreth  me. 
God  give  grace  I  play  not  the  foole  this  day ; 
For  here  /  send  tti  axe  after  the  helme  away. 
But  if  ye  will  stint  and  avoyd  all  strife, 
Love  and  cherish  this,  as  ye  would  my  life. 
I  will  (quoth  he),  wife,  by  God  almightie, 


This  geare  comnith  in  pudding  time^  rightlie. 

He  snatcht  at  the  bag.     No  haste  but  good,  (quoth 


Short  shooting  leeseth  your  game,  ye  may  see, 
Ye  mist  the  cushin^  for  all  your  haste  to  it. 
And  I  may  set  you  beside  the  cushin  yit, 
And  make  you  wipe  your  nose  upon  your  sleeve, 
For  ought  you  shall  winne,  without  you  aske  me  leeve. 
Have  yee  not  heard  tell,  all  covet,  all  leese  ? 
A  sir,  I  see,  ye  may  see  no  greene  cheese, 
But  your  teeth  must  water.     A  good  cocknay  coke : 
Though  he  love  not  to  buy  the  pig  in  the  poke, 
Yet  snatch  ye  at  the  poke  that  the  pig  is  in, 
Not  for  the  poke,  but  for  the  pig  good  cheape  to  win. 
Like  one  halfe  lost,  till  greedie  grasping  gat  it 

16  In  pudding  time. 

Formerly,  when  pudding  was  the  first  dish  that  was  served,  to 
come  in  pudding  time  signified  to  be  in  time  for  dinner,  or  more 
generally,  to  arrive  in  the  nick  of  time. 

Our  landlord  did  that  shift  prevent, 

Who  came  in  pudding  time  and  tooke  his  rent. 

TAYLOR'S  Works,  1630. 

17  Ye  mist  the  cushin. 

An  idiomatic  expression,  meaning  to  fail  in  an  undertaking  ; 
takes  its  origin  from  the  practice  of  archery. 

Trulie,  Euphues,  you  have  mist  the  cushion,  for  I  was  neither 
angrie  with  your  long  absence,  neither  am  I  well  pleased  at  your 
presence. — LYLY'S  Euphues. 

1 66  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

Ye  would  be  over  the  stile  ere  ye  come  at  zV.18 
But  abide  friend,  your  mother  bid,  till  ye  were  borne, 
Snatching  winth  it  not,  if  ye  snatch  till  to  morne. 
Men  say,  (said  he),  long  standing  and  small  offring 
Maketh  poore  Parsons.      And   in   such    signes    and 


Many  pretie  tales  and  merrie  toyes  had  they, 
Before  this  bag  came  from  her  away. 
Kindly  he  kist  her  with  words  not  tart  nor  tough. 
But  the  cat  knowth  whose  lips  she  lickth  well  enough.1® 
Anone,  the  bag  she  delivered  him,  and  sayd, 
He  should  beare  it,  for  that  it  now  heavie  wayd. 
With  good  will,  wife,  for  it  is,  (sayd  he  to  her), 
A  proud  horse  that  will  not  beare  his  owne  provander™ 

18  Ye  would  be  over  the  stile ,  &c. 

Dulipo.  I  would  fayne  have  you  conclude. 
Erostrato.  You  would  fayne  leape  over  the  stile  before  you  come 
at  the  hedge. — GEORGE  GASCOIGNE'S  Sttpposes,  1575. 

19  The  cat  knowth  whose  lips  she  lickth  well  enough. 

Li  vilains  reproche  du  chat 
Qu'il  set  bien  qui  barbes  il  leche. 
Des  trois  Dames  qui  trouverent  un  anel,  circa  1300. 

20  A  proud  horse  that  will  not  bear  his  own  provander. 

Nicholas.  Indeed,  I  am  patient,  I  must  needes  say,  for  patience 
in  adversitie  brings  a  man  to  the  Three  Cranes  in  the  Ventree. 

Coomes.  Do  yee  heere  ?  set  downe  your  torche  :  drawe,  fight,  I 
am  for  yee. 

JOHN  HEY  WOOD.  167 

And  oft  before  seemd  she  never  so  wise, 
Yet  was  she  now  suddenly  waxen  as  nise, 
As  it  had  been  a  halfporth  of  silver  spoones  ; 
Thus  clowdie  mornings  turne  to  cleere  after  noones. 
But  so  nie  noone  it  was,  that  by  and  by, 
They  rose  and  went  to  dinner  lovingly. 


[HIS  dinner  thought  he  long,  and  straight 

after  that, 

To  his  accustomed  customers  he  gat. 
With  whom  in  what  time  he  spent  one  grote  before, 
In  lesse  time  he  spent  now  ten  grotes  or  more. 
And  in  small  time  he  brought  the  world  so  about, 
That  he  brought  the  bottome  of  the  bagge  cleane  out. 
His  gadding  thus  againe  made  her  ill  content : 
But  she  not  so  much  as  dreamde  that  all  was  spent. 
Howbeit  suddenly  she  minded  on  a  day, 

Nicholas.  And  I  am  for  yee  too,  though  it  be  from  the  midnight 
to  the  next  morne. 

Coomes.  Where  be  your  tooles  ? 

Nicholas.  Within  a  mile  of  an  oke,  sir,  hee's  a  proud  horse  that 
will  not  carry  his  own  provander,  I  warrant  yee. — Two  Angry 
Women  of  Abingdon,  1599. 

168  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

To  pick  the  chest  locke,  wherein  this  bagge  lay : 

Determining  this,  if  it  lay  whole  still, 

So  shall  it  lye  :  no  myte  she  minish  will. 

And  if  the  bag  began  to  shrinke,  she  thought  best, 

To  take  for  her  part  some  part  of  the  rest. 

But  streight  as  she  had  forthwith  opened  the  locke, 

And  look't  in  the  bagge,  what  it  was  a  clocke, 

Then  was  it  proved  true,  as  this  proverbe  goth, 

He  that  commeth  last  to  the  pot,  is  soonest  wroth, 

By  her  comming  last,  and  too  late  to  the  pot, 

Whereby  she  was  potted  thus  like  a  sot, 

To  see  the  pot  both  skimd  for  running  over, 

And  also  all  the  licour  runne  at  rover  : 

At  her  good  husbands  and  her  next  meeting, 

The  divels  good  grace  might  have  given  a  greeting, 

Either  for  honour  or  honestie  as  good 

As  she  gave  him.     She  was,  (as  they  say),  home 


She  netled  him,  and  he  ratled  her  so, 
That  at  end  of  that  fray,  asunder  they  go, 
And  never  after  came  together  againe  : 
He  turnd  her  out  at  doores  to  grase  on  the  plaine  ; 
And  himselfe  went  after.     For  within  fortnight, 
All  that  was  left,  was  launched  out  quight 
And  thus  had  he  brought  haddock  to  paddocky 
Till  they  both  were  not  worth  a  haddock. 


It  hath  been  said,  neede  maketh  the  old  wife  trot.1 
Other  folke  said  it,  but  she  did  it,  God  wot ; 
First  from  frend  to  frend,  and  then  from  dur  to  dur, 
A  begging  of  some  that  had  begged  of  hur. 
But  as  men  say,  miserie  may  be  mother, 
Where  one  begger  is  driven  to  beg  of  another. 
And  thus  wore  and  wasted  this  most  wofull  wretch, 
Till  death  from  this  life,  did  her  wretchedly  fetch. 
Her  late  husband,  and  now  widower,  here  and  there 
Wandring  about,  few  know,  and  fewer  care,  where. 
Cast  out  as  an  abject,  he  leadeth  his  life, 
Till  famine  by  like,  set  him  after  his  wife. 

Now  let  us  note  here.     First  of  the  first  twaine, 
Where  they  wedded,  together  to  remaine, 
Hoping  joy  full  presence  should  weare  out  all  woe : 
Yet  povertie  brought  that  joy  to  faile  so. 
But  notably  note  these  last  twaine,  where  as  he 

1  Neede  maketh  the  old  wife  trot. 

Thus  travelling,  a  toiling  trade  I  drive, 

By  reason  of  my  age — neer  seventy  five, 

It  is  my  earthly  portion  and  my  lot, 

The  proverb  says — "  Need  makes  the  old  wife  trot." 

A  Merry  Bill  of  an  uncertaine  Journey,  by  TAYLOR, 

the  Water  Poet. 
Besoin  fait  vieille  trotter. 

Roman  de  Trubert.  circa  1300. 

170  THE*  PROVERBS    OF 

Tooke  her  onely,  for  that  he  rich  would  be : 
And  she  him  onely  in  hope  of  good  hap, 
In  her  doting  daies  to  be  daunst  on  the  lap. 
In  condition  they  differd  so  many  waies, 
That  lightly  he  laid  her  up  for  holie  daies. 
Her  good  he  laid  up  so,  lest  theeves  might  spie  it, 
That  neither  she  could,  nor  he  can  come  by  it. 
Thus  failed  all  foure,  of  all  things  lesse  and  more, 
Which  they  all,  or  any  of  all,  maried  fore. 


&ORSOOTH,   (said  my  friend),  this  matter 

maketh  bost 

Of  diminution,     For  here  is  a  mill  post, 
Thwitten  to  a  pudding  prick  so  neerely, 
That  I  confesse  me  discouraged  cleerely. 
In  both  my  weddings,  in  all  things,  except  one  : 
This  sparke  of  hope  have  I,  to  proceed  upon. 
Though  these  and  some  other,  speed  ill,  as  ye  tell, 
Yet  other  have  lived  and  loved  full  well. 
If  I  should  deny  that,  (quoth  I),  I  should  rave : 
For  of  both  these  sorts,  I  grant,  that  my  self  have 

JOHN  HEY  WOOD.  171 

Scene  of  the  tone  sort,  and  heard  of  the  tother, 
That  liked  and  lived  right  well,  each  with  other. 
But  whether  fortune  will  you,  that  man  declare, 
That  shall  choose  in  this  choice,  your  comfort  or  care. 
Since,  before  ye  have  chosen,  we  cannot  know, 
I  thought  to  lay  the  worst,  as  ye  the  best  show, 
That  ye  might,  being  yet  at  libertie, 
With  all  your  joy,  joyne  all  your  jeopardie. 
And  now  in  this  heard,  in  these  cases  on  each  part, 
I  say  no  more,  but  lay  your  hand  on  your  hart. 
I  hartily  thanke  you  (quoth  he),  I  am  sped 
Of  mine  errand.     This  hitteth  the  naile  on  the  hed? 
Who  that  leaveth  suretie  and  leaveth  unto  chaunce, 
When  fooles  pipe y  by  authoritie  he  may  daunce. 
And  sure  am  I  of  those  twaine,  if  I  none  choose, 
Although  I  nought  winne,  yet  shall  I  nought  loose. 
And  to  win  a  woman  here,  and  lose  a  man, 
In  all  this  great  winning  what  gain  will  I  than  ? 

2  Hitteth  the  naile  on  the  hed. 

In  an  old  anonymous  play  "  my  lord  Cardinals  players  "  are 
introduced,  and  in  answer  to  the  question  as  to  what  pieces  com 
pose  their  repertory,  they  reply  : — 

Divers,  my  lord,  The  Cradle  of  Security, 

Hit  nail  o'  th7  head,  Impatient  Poverty, 

The  Play  of  Four  P's,  Dives  and  Lazarus, 

Lusty  Juventus,  and  the  Marriage  of  Wit  and  Wisdom. 


172  THE    PROVERBS    OF 

But  marke  how  follie'hath  me  away  caried : 
How  like  a  weathercock  I  have  here  varied. 
First  these  two  women  to  loose  I  was  loth, 
That  if  I  might,  I  would  have  wedded  them  both. 
Then  thought  I  since,  to  have  wedded  one  of  them : 
And  now  know  I  cleere,  I  will  wed  none  of  them. 
They  both  shall  have  this  one  answere  by  letter ; 
As  good  never  a  whit,  as  new  the  better. 

Now  let  me  aske,  (quoth  I),  and  your  selfe  answere, 

The  short  question  that  I  asked  while  ere, 

A  foule  old  rich  widow,  whether  wed  would  ye, 

Or  a  yong  faire  maide,  being  poore  as  ye  be. 

In  neither  barrel  better  herring?  (quoth  he) ; 

I  like  thus  riches  as  ill  as  povertie. 

Who  that  hath  either  of  these  pigges  in  me, 

He  hath  a  pigge  of  the  worse panier  sure. 

3  In  neither  barrel  better  herring. 

An  elliptical  way  of  saying  that  no  one  barrel  contains  herrings 
better  than  another.  An  early  instance  of  its  use  occurs  in  a 
work  of  Bishop  Bale,— 

Lyke  Lord,  lyke  chaplayne,  neyther  barrel  better  herynge. 

Kynge  John. 

Again  in  BURTON'S  Anatomy  of  Melancholy,  1621  : — Begin 
where  you  will,  you  shall  find  them  all  alike,  never  a  barrell  the 
better  herring. 

JOHN   HEY  WOOD.  173 

I  was  wedded  unto  my  will.     Howbeit, 

I  will  be  divorst  and  wed  to  my  wit. 

Whereby  with  these  examples  past,  I  may  see, 

Fond  wedding,  for  love,  as  good  onely  to  flee. 

Onely  for  love,  or  onely  for  good, 

Or  onely  for  both  I  wed  not,  by  my  hood. 

Thus  no  one  thing  onely,  though  one  thing  chieflie 

Shall  woo  me  to  wed  now  :  for  now  I  espie, 

Although  the  chiefe  one  thing  in  wedding  be  love, 

Yet  must  moe  things  joyne,  as  all  in  one  may  move, 

Such  kinde  of  living,  for  such  kinde  of  life, 

As  lacking  the  same,  no  lack  to  lack  a  wife. 

Here  is  enough,  I  am  satisfied,  (sayd  he). 

Since  enough  is  enough,  (sayd  I),  here  may  we 

With  that  one  word  take  end  good,  as  may  be  geast : 

For  folke  say,  enough  is  as  good  as  a  feast* 

4  Enough  is  as  good  as  a  feast. 

It  is  an  olde  proverb  He  is  well  at  ese  y*  hath  enough  and  can 
say  ho.     He  hath  enough,  holy  doctours  say,  to  whom  his  tem- 
porall  godes  be  they  never  soo  fewe  suffisen  to  him  and  to  his, 
to  fynde  them  that  them  nedyth. — Dives  andPauper,  1493. 
And  of  enough  enough,  and  nowe  no  more, 
Bycause  my  braynes  no  better  can  devise  : 
When  thinges  be  badde,  a  small  summe  maketh  store 
So  of  suche  verse  a  fewe  may  soone  suffice  ; 
Yet  still  to  this  my  weary  penne  replyes. 
That  I  sayde  last,  and  though  like  it  least, 
It  is  enough  and  as  good  as  a  feast. 

GASCOIGNE'S  Memories,  1575. 





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I2th  century,  and  edited  from  the  best  MSS.  by  the  late  A.  P. 
Forbes,  D.C.L.,  Bishop  of  Brechin  (pub  155),  not  sold  separately. 
Life  of  Saint  Columba,  founder  of  Hy,  written  by  Adamnan, 
ninth  Abbot  of  that  Monastery,  edited  by  Wm.  Reeves,  D.D., 
M.R.I.A.,  translated  by  the  late  A.  P.  Forbes,  D.C.L.,  Bishop 
of  Brechin,  with  Notes  arranged  by  W.  F.  Skene,  LL.D.  (pub 
155),  not  sold  separately. 

The  Book  of  Pluscarden,  being  unpublished  Continuation 
of  Fordun's  Chronicle  by  M.  Buchanan,  Treasurer  to  the  Dauphi- 
ness  of  France,  edited  and  translated  by  Skene,  2  vols  (pub  305). 
Vol  2  separately  (pub  125  6d),  8s  6d. 

A  Critical  Essay  on  the  Ancient  Inhabitants  of  Scotland, 
by  Thomas  Innes  of  the  Sorbonne,  with  Memoir  of  the  Author  by 
George  Grubb,  LL.D.,  and  Appendix  of  Original  Documents  by 
Wm.  F.  Skene,  LL.D.,  illustrated  with  charts,  out  of  print  (pub 
2is),  los  6d. 

In  connection  with  the  Society  of  Antiquaries  of  Scotland,  a  uniform  series  of 
the  Historians  of  Scotland,  accompanied  by  English  translations,  and  illustrated 
by  notes,  critical  and  explanatory,  was  commenced  some  years  since  and  has 
recently  been  finished. 

So  much  has  recently  been  done  for  the  history  of  Scotland,  that  the  necessity 
for  a  more  critical  edition  of  the  earlier  historians  has  become  very  apparent. 
The  history  of  Scotland,  prior  to  the  i$th  century,  must  always  be  based  to  a 
great  extent  upon  the  work  of  Fordun  ;  but  his  original  text  has  been  made  the 
basis  of  continuations,  and  has  been  largely  altered  and  interpolated  by  his  con- 
tinuators,  whose  statements  are  usually  quoted  as  if  they  belonged  to  the  original 
work  of  Fordun.  An  edition  discriminating  between  the  original  text  of  Fordun 
and  the  additions  and  alterations  of  his  continuators,  and  at  the  same  time  trac- 
ing out  the  sources  of  Fordun's  narrative,  would  obviously  be  of  great  importance 
to  the  right  understanding  of  Scottish  history. 

The  complete  set  forms  ten  handsome  volumes,  demy  8vo,  illustrated  with 

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John  Grant,  Bookseller, 

Leighton's  (Alexander)  Mysterious  Legends  of  Edinburgh^ 

illustrated,  crown  8vo,  cloth  (pub  55),  2s  6d. 

CONTENTS  : — Lord  Kames'  Puzzle,  Mrs  Corbet's  Amputated  Toe,  The  Brownie 
of  the  West  Bow,  The  Ancient  Bureau,  A  Legend  of  Halkerstone's  Wynd,  Deacon 
Macgillvray's  Disappearance,  Lord  Braxfield's  Case  of  the  Red  Night-cap,  The 
Strange  Story  of  Sarah  Gowanlock,  and  John  Cameron's  Life  Policy. 

Steveris  (Dr  William)  History  of  the  High  School  of 
Edinburgh,  from  the  beginning  of  the  Sixteenth  Century,  based 
upon  Researches  of  the  Town  Council  Records  and  other  Authentic 
Documents,  illustrated  with  view,  also  facsimile  of  a  School 
Exercise  by  Sir  Walter  Scott  when  a  pupil  in  1783,  crown  8vo, 
cloth,  a  handsome  volume  (pub  7s  6d),  2s. 
Appended  is  a  list  of  the  distinguished  pupils  who  have  been  educated  in  this 

Institution,  which  has  been  patronised  by  Royalty  from  the  days  of  James  VI. 

Exquisitely  beautiful  Works  by  Sir  /.  Noel  Paton  at  a  remarkably 

low  price. 

Paton 's  (Noel)  Compositions  from  Shakespeare's  Tempest, 
a  Series  of  Fifteen  Large  Outline  Engravings  illustrating  the 
Great  Drama  of  our  National  Poet,  with  descriptive  letterpress, 
oblong  folio,  cloth  (pub  2 is),  35.  Chapman  &  Hall,  1845. 

Uniform  with  the  above. 

Patoris  (Noel)  Compositions  from  Shelley's  Prometheus 
Unbound,  a  Series  of  Twelve  Large  Outline  Engravings,  oblong 
folio,  cloth  (pub  2 is),  35.  Chapman  £  Hall,  1846. 

Poll  ok' s  (Robert)  The  Course  of  Time,  a  Poem,  beauti- 
fully printed  edition,   with  portrait   and  numerous  illustrations, 
I2mo,  cloth,  6d.     Blackwood  &  Sons. 
"  'The  Course  of  Time'  is  a  very  extraordinary  poem,  vast  in  its  conception, 

vast  in  its  plan,  vast  in  its  materials,  and  vast,  if  very  far  from  perfect,  in  its 

achievement." — D.  M.  MOIR. 

The  Authorised  Library  Edition. 

Trial  of  the  Directors  of  the  City  of  Glasgow  Bank,  before 
the  Petition  for  Bail,  reported  by  Charles  Tennant  Couper, 
Advocate,  the  Speeches  and  Opinions,  revised  by  the  Council  and 
Judges,  and  the  Charge  by  the  Lord  Justice  Clerk,  illustrated 
with  lithographic  facsimiles  of  the  famous  false  Balance-sheets, 
one  large  volume,  royal  8vo,  cloth  (pub  155),  35  6d.  Edinburgh. 

History  of  the  Queen's  Edinburgh  Rifle  Volunteer  Brigade, 
with  an  Account  of  the  City  of  Edinburgh  and  Midlothian  Rifle 
Association,  the  Scottish  Twenty  Club,  &c.,  by  Wm.  Stephen, 
crown  8vo,  cloth  (pub  53),  2s  6d.     Blackwood  &  Sons. 
"  This  opportune  volume  has  far  more  interest  for  readers  generally  than  might 

have  been  expected,  while  to  members  of  the  Edinburgh  Volunteer  Brigade  it 

cannot  fail  to  be  very  interesting  indeed." — St  James  s  Gazette. 

Edinburgh  University — Account  of  the  Tercentenary  Fes- 
tival of  the  University,  including  the  Speeches  and  Addresses  on 
the  Occasion,  edited  by  R.  Sydney  Marsden,  crown  8vo,  cloth 
(pub  35),  is  6d.  Blackwood  &  Sons. 

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25  &°  34  George  IV.  Bridge,  Edinburgh. 

Grampian  Club  Publications,  of  valuable  MSS. 
and  Works  of  Original  Research  in  Scottish. 
History,  Privately  printed  for  the  Members  :— 

The  Diocesan  Registers  of  Glasgow — Liber  Protocollorum 
M.  Cuthberti  Simonis,  notarii  et  scribse  capituli  Glasguensis,  A.n. 
1499-1513;  also,  Rental  Book  of  the  Diocese  of  Glasgow,  A.n. 
I5°9-I57°j  edited  by  Joseph  Bain  and  the  Rev.  Dr  Charles 
Rogers,  with  facsimiles,  2  vols,  8vo,  cl,  1875  (pub  £2  2s),  los  6d. 

Rental  Book  of  the  Cistercian  Abbey  of  Coupar-Angus^ 
with  the  Breviary  of  the  Register,  edited  by  the  Rev.  Dr  Charles 
Rogers,  with  facsimiles  of  MSS.,  2  vols,  8vo,  cloth,  1879-80  (pub 
£2  I2s  6d),  IDS  6d. 

The  same,   vol  II.,   comprising  the  Register  oj 

Tacks  of  the  Abbey  of  Cupar,  Rental  of  St  Mane's  Monastery,  and 
Appendix,  8vo,  cloth  (pub  £i  is),  35  6d. 

Estimate  of  the  Scottish  Nobility  during  the  Minority  of 
James  VI.,  edited,  with  an  Introduction,  from  the  original  MS. 
in  the  Public  Record  Office,  by  Dr  Charles  Rogers,  8vo,  cloth 
(pub  los  6d),  2s. 

The  reprint  of  a  manuscript  discovered  in  the  Public  Record  Office.     The 
details  are  extremely  curious. 

Genealogical  Memoirs  of  the  Families  of  Colt  and  Coutts^ 
by  Dr  Charles  Rogers,  8vo,  cloth  (pub  IDS  6d),  2s  6d. 

An  old  Scottish  family,  including  the  eminent  bankers  of  that  name,    the 
Baroness  Burdett-Coutts,  &c. 

Rogers'  (Dr  Charles)  Memorials  of  the  Earl  of  Stirling 
and  of  the  House  of  Alexander,  portraits,  2  vols,  8vo,  cloth  (pub 
£$  3s),  ios  6d,  Edinburgh,  1877. 

This  work  embraces  not  only  a  history  of  Sir  William  Alexander,  first  Earl  of 
Stirling,  but  also  a  genealogical  account  of  the  family  of  Alexander  in  all  its 
branches  ;  many  interesting  historical  details  connected  with  Scottish  State  affairs 
in  the  seventeenth  century  ;  also  with  the  colonisation  of  America. 

Sent  Carriage  Free  to  any  part  of  the  United  Kingdom  on 
receipt  of  Postal  Order  for  the  amount. 

TOM  GRANT,  25  &  34  George  IT.  Bridge.  Edinburgh. 

John  Grant,  Bookseller, 

Scott's  (Dr  Hew]  Fasti  Ecclesice  Scoticance,  Historical  and 
Biographical  Notices  of  all  the  Ministers  of  the  Church  of  Scot- 
land from  the  Reformation,  A.D.  1560,  to  the  Present  Time,  6 
large  vols,  demy  4to,  cloth,  uncut  (pub  ^9),  ^4  i^s,  Edin- 
burgh, W.  Paterson. 

David  Laing,  the  eminent  antiquarian,  considered  this  work  a  valuable  and 
necessary  addition  to  the  Bannatyne,  Maitland,  or  Abbotsford  Club  Publications. 

The  work  is  divided  into  Synods,  and  where  priced  the  volumes  can  be  had 

Vol  I. — Embraces  Synods  of  Lothian  and  Tweeddale.  Not 
sold  separately. 

Vol  2. — Synods  of  Merse  and  Teviotdale,  Dumfries  and  Gal- 
loway (pub  305),  155. 

Vol  3. — Synods  of  Glasgow  and  Ayr  (pub  305),  155. 

Vol  4. — Synods  of  Fife,  Perth,  and  Stirling  (pub  305),  155. 

Vol  5. — Synods  of  Argyll,  Glenelg,  Moray,  Ross,  Sutherland, 
Caithness,  Orkney,  and  Shetland,  not  sold  separately. 

Vol  6. — Synods  of  Aberdeen,  and  Angus  and  Mearns  (pub 
305),  155. 

Historical  Sketches  of  the  Highland  Clans  of  Scotland, 
containing  a  concise  account  of  the  origin,  &c.,  of  the  Scottish 
Clans,  with  twenty-two  illustrative  coloured  plates  of  the  Tartan 
worn  by  each,  post  8vo,  cloth,  2s  6d. 

"  The  object  of  this  treatise  is  to  give  a  concise  account  of  the  origin,  seat, 
and  characteristics  of  the  Scottish  Clans,  together  with  a  representation  of  the 
distinguishing  tartan  worn  by  each." — Preface. 

Historical  Geography  of  the  Clans  of  Scotland,  by  T.  B. 
Johnston,  F.R.G.S.,  F.R.S.E.,  and  F.S.A.S.,  Geographer  to 
the  Queen,  and  Colonel  James  A.  Robertson,  F.S.A.S.,  demy4to, 
cloth,  with  a  map  of  Scotland  divided  into  Clans  (large  folding 
map,  coloured)  (pub  7s  6d),  Keith  Johnston,  35.  6d. 

u  The  map  bears  evidence  of  careful  preparation,  and  the  editor  acknowledges 
the  assistance  of  Dr  William  Skene,  who  is  known  for  eminent  services  to  High- 
land archaeology." — Athenceum. 

Keltic's  (John  S.)  History  of  the  Scottish  Highlands, 
Highland  dans,  and  Highland  Regiments,  with  an  account  of  the 
Gaelic  Language,  Literature,  Music,  &c.,  illustrated  with  portraits, 
views,  maps,  &c.,  engraved  on  steel,  clan  tartans,  numerous 
woodcuts,  including  armorial  bearings,  2  vols,  imperial  8vo,  half 
morocco  (pub  ^3  los),  £i  173  6d. 

Sent  Can  iage  Free  to  any  part  of  the  United  Kingdom  on 
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JOHN  GRANT,  25  &  34  George  IY,  Bridge,  Edinburgh, 

2 5  &  34  George  IV.  Bridge,  Edinburgh.  7 

Burfs  (Capt.)  Letters  from  the  North  of  Scotland  (1754), 
with  an  Introduction  by  R.  Jamieson,  F.S.A.  ;  and  the  History  of 
Donald  the  Hammerer,  from  an  authentic  account  of  the  Family 
of  Invernahyle,  a  MS.  communication  by  Sir  Walter  Scott,  with 
facsimiles  of  all  the  original  engravings,  2  vols,  8vo,  cloth  (pub 
2 is),  8s  6d.  W.  Paterson. 

"  Captain  Burt  was  one  of  the  first  Englishmen  who  caught  a  glimpse  of  the 
spots  which  now  allure  tourists  from  every  part  of  the  civilised  world,  at  a  time 
when  London  had  as  little  to  do  with  the  Grampians  as  with  the  Andes.  The 
author  was  evidently  a  man  of  a  quick,  an  observant,  and  a  cultivated  mind." — 

"An  extremely  interesting  and  curious  work." — LOWNDES. 

Chambers' s  (  William,  of  Glenormiston)  History  of  Peebles- 
shire,  its  Local  Antiquities,  Geology,  Natural  History,  £c.,  with  one 
hundred  engravings,  vignettes,  and  coloured  map  from  Ordnance 
Survey,  royal  8vo,  cloth  (pub  £i  us  6d),  95.  W.  Paterson. 

"To  the  early  history  and  antiquities  of  this  district,  and  to  old  names  and 
old  families  connected  with  the  place,  Mr  Chambers  lends  a  charm  which  is  not 
often  met  with  in  such  subjects.  He  discerns  the  usefulness  of  social  as  well  as 
political  history,  and  is  pleasantly  aware  that  the  story  of  manners  and  morals 
and  customs  is  as  well  worth  telling  as  the  story  of  man,"  &c. — Athen&um. 

Douglas'  (Gavin,  Bishop  of  Dunkeld,  1475-1522}  Poetical 
Works,  edited,  with  Memoir,  Notes,  and  full  Glossary,  by  John 
Small,  M.A.,  F.S.A.  Scot.,  illustrated  with  specimens  of  manu- 
script, title-page,  and  woodcuts  of  the  early  editions  m  facsimile, 
4  vols,  beautifully  printed  on  thick  paper,  post  8vo,  cloth  (pub 
^3  35),  £i  2s  6d.  W.  Paterson. 

"The  latter  part  of  the  fifteenth  and  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century,  a 
period  almost  barren  in  the  annals  of  English  poetry,  was  marked  by  a  remark- 
able series  of  distinguished  poets  in  Scotland.  During  this  period  flourished 
Dunbar,  Henryson,  Mercier,  Harry  the  Minstrel,  Gavin  Douglas,  Bellenden, 
Kennedy,  and  Lyndesay.  Of  these,  although  the  palm  of  excellence  must  beyond 
all  doubt  be  awarded  to  Dunbar, — next  to  Burns  probably  the  greatest  poet  of 
his  country, — the  voice  of  contemporaries,  as  well  as  of  the  age  that  immediately 
followed,  pronounced  in  favour  of  him  who, 

'  In  barbarous  age, 
Gave  rude  Scotland  Virgil's  page,' — 

Gavin  Douglas.  We  may  confidently  predict  that  this  will  long  remain  the  standard 
edition  of  Gavin  Douglas  ;  and  we  shall  be  glad  to  see  the  works  of  other  of  the 
old  Scottish  poets  edited  with  equal  sympathy  and  success." — Athenceum. 

Lyndsay's  (Sir  David,  of  the  Mount,  1490-1568}  Poetical 
Works,  best  edition,  edited,  with  Life,  Notes,  and  Glossary,  by 
David  Laing,  3  vols,  crown  8vo,  cloth  (pub  635),  iSs  6d.  W. 

"When  it  is  said  that  the  revision,  including  Preface,  Memoir,  and  Notes, 
has  been  executed  by  Dr  David  Laing,  it  is  said  that  all  has  been  done  that 
is  possible  by  thorough  scholarship,  good  judgment,  and  conscientiousness." — 

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John  Grant,  Bookseller, 

Crieff:  Its  Traditions  and  Characters,  with  Anecdotes  of 
Strathearn,  Reminiscences  of  Obsolete  Customs,  Traditions,  and 
Superstitions,  Humorous  Anecdotes  of  Schoolmasters,  Ministers, 
and  other  Public  Men,  crown  8vo,  is. 
"A  book  which  will  have  considerable  value  in  the  eyes  of  all  collectors  of 

Scottish  literature.     A  gathering  up  of  stories  about  well-known  inhabitants, 

memorable   local   occurrences,   and   descriptions  of  manners   and  customs."— 


Dunfermline — Henderson's  Annals  of  Dunfermline  ana 
Vicinity,  from  the  earliest  Authentic  Period  to  the  Present  Time, 
A.D.  1069-1878,  interspersed  with  Explanatory  Notes,  Memorabilia, 
and  numerous  illustrative  engravings,  large  vol,  4to,  half  morocco, 
gilt  top  (pub  2is),  6s  6d. 

The  genial  Author  of  "  Nodes  Ambrosiance" 
Christopher  North — A  Memoir  of  Professor  John  Wilson , 

compiled  from  Family  Papers  and  other  sources,  by  his  daughter, 

Mrs  Gordon,  new  edition,  with  portrait  and  illustrations,  crown 

8vo,  cloth  (pub  6s),  2s  6d. 

"  A  writer  of  the  most  ardent  and  enthusiastic  genius." — HENRY  HALLAM. 

"  The  whole  literature  of  England  does  not  contain  a  more  brilliant  series  of 
articles  than  those  with  which  Wilson  has  enriched  the  pages  of  Blackwoocfs 
Magazine." — Sir  ARCHIBALD  ALISON. 

The  Cloud  of  Witnesses  for  the  Royal  Prerogatives  of  Jesus 
Christ ;  or,  The  Last  Speeches  and  Testimonies  of  those  who 
have  Suffered  for  the  Truth  in  Scotland  since  the  year  1680,  best 
edition,  by  the  Rev.  J.  H.  Thompson,  numerous  illustrations, 
handsome  volume,  8vo,  cloth  gilt  (pub  7s  6d),  45  6d. 
"  The  interest  in  this  remarkable  book  can  never  die,  and  to  many  we  doubt 

not  this  new  and  handsome  edition  will  be  welcome." — Aberdeen  Herald. 

"Altogether  it  is  like  a  resurrection,  and  the  vision  of  Old  Mortality,  as  it 

passes  over  the  scenes  of  his  humble  but  solemn  and  sternly  significant  labours, 

seems  transfigured  in  the  bright  and  embellished  pages  of  the  modern  reprint." — 

Daily  Review. 

M'KerliJs  (P.  H.,  F.S.A.  Scot.}  History  of  the  Lands  and 
their  Owners  in  Galloway,  illustrated  by  woodcuts  of  Notable 
Places  and  Objects,  with  a  Historical  Sketch  of  the  District,  5 
handsome  vols,  crown  8vo,  roxburghe  style  (pub  £3  I5s),  265  6d. 
W.  Paterson. 

Wilson's  (Dr  Daniel}  Memorials  of  Edinburgh  in  the 
Olden  Time,  with  numerous  fine  engravings  and  woodcuts,  2  vols, 
4to,  cloth  (pub  £2  2s),  i6s  6d. 

Hamilton's  (Lady,  the  Mistress  of  Lord  Nelson)  Attitudes, 
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Antiquity  in  their  proper  Costume,  forming  a  useful  study  for 
drawing  from  correct  and  chaste  models  of  Grecian  and  Roman 
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2 5  &  34  G^rge  IV,  Bridge,  Edinburgh.  9 

Hay's  (D.  jR.)  Science  of  Beauty,  as  Developed  in  Nature 
and  Applied  in  Art,  23  full-page  illustrations,  royal  8vo,  cloth 
(Dub  los  6d).  2s  6cl. 

aim    jrvpjjiicu    111    .TVI 

(pub  ios  6d),  2s  6d. 

Art  and  Letters,  an  Illustrated  Magazine  of  Fine  Art  and 
Fiction,  edited  by  J.  Comyns  Carr,  complete  year  1882-83,  hand- 
some volume,  folio,  neatly  bound  in  bevelled  cloth,  gilt  top,  edges 
uncut,  and  Parts  I  and  2  of  the  succeeding  year,  when  the  publica- 
tion ceased,  illustrated  with  many  hundred  engravings  in  the 
highest  style  of  art,  including  many  of  the  choicest  illustrations  of 
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The  artistic  excellence  of  this  truly  handsome  volume  commends  itself  to  all 
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and  Modern,  the  various  forms  of  Art  Industry,  &c.  &c.,  accompanied  by  inter- 
esting articles  by  men  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the  various  subjects  intro- 

Stewart's  (Dugald]  Collected  Works,  best  edition,  edited 
by  Sir  William  Hamilton,  with  numerous  Notes  and  Emendations, 
II  handsome  vols,  Svo,  cloth  (pub  £6  I2s),  the  few  remaining 
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Elements  of  the  Philosophy  of  the  Human  Mind,  3  vols, 
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son, and  Thomas  Reid,  Svo,  cloth  (pub  I2s),  45  6d. 

Supplementary  Volume,  with  General  Index,  Svo,  cloth 
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closely  as  those  of  Xenophanes,  Parmenides,  and  Zeno  in  the  School  of  Elea,  it 
is  a  singular  fortune  that  Sir  William  Hamilton  should  be  the  collector  and 
editor  of  the  works  of  his  predecessors.  .  .  .  The  chair  which  he  filled 
for  many  years,  not  otherwise  undistinguished,  he  rendered  illustrious." — 
A  thenceum. 

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Campbell  (Colin,    Lord    Clyde] — Life  of,   illustrated    by 

Extracts  from  his  Diary   and   Correspondence,  by  Lieut. -Gen. 

Shad  well,  C.B.,   with   portrait,  maps,  and  Plans,  2  vols,   8vo, 

cloth  (pub  365),  IDS  6d,  Blackwood  &  Sons. 

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Shadwell's  admirable  memoir." — BlackivoocTs  Magazine. 

Crime — PikJs  (Luke  Owen)  History  of  Crime  in  England, 
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Creasy  (Sir  Edward  S.) — History  of  England,  from  the 
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Garibaldi — The  Red  Shirt,  Episodes  of  the  Italian  War, 

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triumphal  progress  from  Sicily  to  Naples  ;    and  the  incidental  details  of  the 

difficulties,   dangers,    and  small  reverses  which  occurred  during  the  progress, 

remove  the  event  from  the  region  of  enchantment  to  the  world  of  reality  and 

human  heroism." — Athenaum. 

History  of  the  War  of  Frederick  I.  against  the  Communes 
of  Lombardy,  by  Giovanni  B.  Testa,  translated  from  the  Italian, 
and  dedicated  by  the  Author  to  the  Right  Hon.  W.  E.  Gladstone, 
(466  pages),  8vo,  cloth  (pub  155)  2s,  Smith,  Elder,  &  Co. 

Martineau  (Harriet} — The  History  of  British  Rule  in 
India,  foolscap  8vo  (356  pages),  cloth  (pub  2s  6d),  is,  Smith, 
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A  concise  sketch,  which  will  give  the  ordinary  reader  a  general  notion  of 
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since  it  first  became  connected  with  England.  The  book  will  be  found  to  state 
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it  cannot  fail  to  give  valuable  information  to  those  readers  who  have  neither  time 
nor  inclination  to  study  the  larger  works  on  the  subject. 

Matheivs   (Charles  James,   the   Actor} — Life   of,    chiefly 
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Speeches,  edited  by  Charles  Dickens,  portraits,  2  vols,  8vo,  cloth 
(pub  255),  55,  Macmillan,  1879. 
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full  measure  of  credit  for  the  care  and  discrimination  he  has  exercised  in  the 

business  of  editing." — Globe. 

"  Mr  Dickens's  interesting  work,  which  should  be  read  by  all  students  of  the 

stage." — Saturday  Review. 

Reumont  (Alfred  von) — Lorenzo  de  Medici,  the  Mag- 
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Oliphant   (Laurence) — The   Land  of  Gilead,    with    Ex- 
cursions in  the  Lebanon,  illustrations  and  maps,  8vo,  cloth  (pub 
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physical  science." — Vanity  Fair. 

Patterson  (R.  H.) — The  New  Golden  Age,  and  Influence 
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AGE,  1848-56. — The  First  Tidings — Scientific  Fears,  and  General  Enthusiasm — 
The  Great  Emigration — General  Effects  of  the  Gold  Discoveries  upon  Commerce 
— Position  of  Great  Britain,  and  First  Effects  on  it  of  the  Gold  Discoveries — The 
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Distress  before  the  Gold  Discoveries.  "CHEAP"  AND  "DEAR"  MONEY — On 
the  Effects  of  Changes  in  the  Quantity  and  Value  of  Money.  THE  NEW  GOLDEN 
AGE. — First  Getting  of  the  New  Gold— First  Diffusion  of  the  New  Gold —  Indus- 
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75) — Total  Amount  of  the  New  Gold  and  Silver — Its  Influence  upon  the  World 
at  large — Close  of  the  Golden  Age,  1876-80 — Total  Production  of  Gold  and 
Silver.  PERIOD  1492-1848. — Production  of  Gold  and  Silver  subsequent  to  1848 — 
Changes  in  the  Value  of  Money  subsequent  to  A.D.  1492.  PERIOD  A.D.  1848 
and  subsequently.  PERIOD  A.D.  1782-1865. — Illusive  Character  of  the  Board  of 
Trade  Returns  since  1853 — Growth  of  our  National  Wealth. 

Richardson  and  Watts'1  Complete  Practical  Treatise  on 
Acids,  Alkalies,  and  Salts,  their  Manufacture  and  Application, 
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F.R.S.,  F.  C.S.,  &c.,  illustrated  with  numerous  wood  engravings, 
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Tunis,  Past  and  Present,  with  a  Narrative  of  the  French 

Conquest  of  the  Regency,  by  A.  M.  Broadley,  Correspondent  of 

the  Times  during  the  War  in  Tunis,  with  numerous  illustrations 

and  maps,  2  vols,  post  8vo,  cloth  (pub  255),  6s,  Blackwood  &  Sons. 

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confidential  adviser  to  the  Bey.  .   .  .  The  information  which  he  is  able  to  place 

before  the  reader  is  novel  and  amusing.  ...  A  standard  work  on  Tunis  has 

been  long  required.     This  deficiency  has  been  admirably  supplied  by  the  author." 

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Cervantes — History  of  the  Jngenious  Gentleman,  Don 
Quixote  of  La  Mancha,  translated  from  the  Spanish  by  P.  A. 
Motteux,  illustrated  with  a  portrait  and  36  etchings,  by  M.  A. 
Laluze,  illustrator  of  the  library  edition  of  Moliere's  Works,  4 
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Dyer  (Thomas  H.,  LL.D.) — Imitative  Art,  its  Principles 
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Junior  Etching  Club — Passages  from  Modern  English 
Poets,  Illustrated  by  the  Junior  Etching  Club,  47  beautiful  etchings 
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less, F.  Smallfield,  A.  J.  Lewis,  C.  Rossiter,  and  other  artists, 
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Smith  (J.  Moyr) — Ancient  Greek  Female  Costume,  illus- 
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8vo,  cloth  elegant,  red  edges  (pub  75  6d),  35.  Sampson  Low. 

Strut fs  Sylva  Britannia  et  Scotice ;  or,  Portraits  of 
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Walpole's  (Horace)  Anecdotes  of  Painting  in  England, 
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James  Dallaway  ;  and  Vertue's  Catalogue  of  Engravers  who  have 
been  born  or  resided  in  England,  last  and  best  edition,  revised 
with  additional  notes  by  Ralph  N.  Wornum,  illustrated  with 
eighty  portraits  of  the  principal  artists,  and  woodcut  portraits  of 
the  minor  artists,  3  handsome  vols,  8vo,  cloth  (pub  275),  145  6d. 

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Miscellanies,  Critical,  Imaginative,  and  Juridical,  con- 
tributed to  Blackwood' 's  Magazine,  original  edition,  2  vols,  post 
8vo,  cloth  (pub  245),  55.  Blackwood,  1855. 

Now  and  Then  ;  Through  a  Glass  Darkly,  early  edition, 
crown  8vo,  cloth  (pub  6s),  is  6d.  Blackwood,  1853. 

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Wood  (Major  Herbert,  R.JE.) — The  Shores  of  Lake  Aral, 
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Arnold's  (Cecil)  Great  Sayings  of  Shakespeare,  a  Com- 
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sages, and  Sentiments  from  the  Poems  and  Plays  of  Shakespeare, 
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Arranged  in  a  manner  similar  to  Southgate's  "  Many  Thoughts  of  Many 
Minds."  This  index  differs  from  all  other  books  in  being  much  more  com- 
prehensive, while  care  has  been  taken  to  follow  the  most  accurate  text,  and  to 
cope,  in  the  best  manner  possible,  with  the  difficulties  of  correct  classification. 

Bacon  (Francis,  Lord) —  Works,  both  English  and  Latin, 
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pub  £2  2s,)  I2s,  1879. 
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and  of  all  later  ages." — SHEFFIELD,  Duke  of  Buckinghamshire. 

"Lord   Bacon  was  more   and   more  known,  and  his  books   more  and  more 

delighted  in ;    so  that  those  men  who  had  more  than  ordinary  knowledge  in 

human  affairs,  esteemed  him  one  of  the  most  capable  spirits  of  that  age." 

Burnet   (Bishop) — History   of  the    Reformation    of   the 
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Index,  2  vols,  royal  8vo,  cloth  (pub  2os),  IDS,  Reeves  £  Turner, 
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without  doubt,  the  English  Eusebius." — Dr  APTHORPE. 

Burnefs  History  of  his  Oivn  Time,  from  the  Restoration 
of  Charles  II.  to  the  Treaty  of  the  Peace  of  Utrecht,  with 
Historical  and  Biographical  Notes,  and  a  copious  Index,  com- 
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the  stark  wickedness  that  actually  gave  the  momentum  to  national  actors  ;  none 
of  that  cursed  Humeian  indifference,  so  cold,  and  unnatural,  and  inhuman,"  &c. 

Dante — The  Divina  Commedia,  translated  into  English 
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cannot  refrain  from  acknowledging  the  many  good  qualities  of  Mr  Ford's  trans- 
lation, and  his  labour  of  love  will  not  have  been  in  vain,  if  he  is  able  to  induce 
those  who  enjoy  true  poetry  to  study  once  more  the  masterpiece  of  that  literature 
from  whence  the  great  founders  of  English  poetry  drew  so  much  of  their  sweet- 
ness and  power." — Athenceum. 

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Dob  son  (  W.  T.) — The  Classic  Poets,  their  Lives  and  their 
Times,  with  the  Epics  Epitomised,  452  pages,  crown  8vo,  cloth 
(pub  95),  2s  6d.     Smith,  Elder,  &  Co. 
CONTENTS. — Homer's  Iliad,  The  Lay  of  the  Nibelungen,  Cid  Campeador, 

Dante's  Divina  Commedia,  Ariosto's  Orlando  Furioso,  Camoens'  Lusiad,  Tasso's 

Jerusalem  Delivered,  Spenser's  Fairy  Queen,  Milton's  Paradise  Lost,  Milton's 

Paradise  Regained. 

English    Literature :  A    Study    of    the    Prologue    and 
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G.  S.  B.,  crown  8vo,  cloth  (pub  55),  is  6d.     Kegan  Paul,  1884. 
Will  no  doubt  prove  useful  to  writers  undertaking  more  ambitious  researches 

into  the  wider  domains  of  dramatic  or  social  history. 

Johnson  (Doctor) — His  Friends  and  his  Critics,  by 
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Smith,  Elder,  &  Co. 

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literary  masterpiece.  .  .  .  Throughout  the  author  of  this  pleasant  volume 
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the  sphere  in  which  Johnson  talked  and  taught." — Saturday  Review. 

Jones'  (Rev.  Harry)  East  and  West  London,  being  Notes 
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Jamrach  and  his  wild  animal  repository,  of  Ratcliffe  Highway  with  its  homes 
and  its  snares  for  sailors,  until  the  reader  finds  himself  at  home  with  all  sorts  and 
conditions  of  strange  life  and  folk.  ...  A  better  antidote  to  recent  gloomy 
forebodings  of  our  national  decadence  canJiardly  be  found." — Athenceum. 

Kaye  (John  William,  F.R.S.,  author  of  "  History  of  the 
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author  discourses  with  bright  and  healthy  vigour,  good  sense,'and  good  taste." — 


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household.     It  cannot  fail  to  instil  lessons  of  manliness. " — Westminster  Review. 

Selkirk  (J.  B^) — Ethics  and  ^Esthetics  of  Modern  Poetry, 
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Nairne's  (Baroness)   Life  and  Songs,  with  a 

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Duncan  (John,  Scotch  Weaver  and  B9tanist) 

— Life  of,  with  Sketches  of  his  'Friends  and  Notices  of  the 
Times,  by  Wm.  Jolly,  F.R.S.E.,  H.M.  Inspector  of  Schools, 
etched  portrait ,  crown  8vo,  cloth  (pub  95)  Kegan  Paul  040 

"We  must  refer  the  reader  to  the  book  itself  for  the  many  quaint  traits  of 
character,  and  the  minute  personal  descriptions,  which,  taken  together,  seem  to 
give  a  life-like  presentation  of  this  humble  philosopher.  .  .  ,  The  many  inci- 
dental notices  which  the  work  contains  of  the  weaver  caste,  the  workman's 
esprit  de  corps,  and  his  wanderings  about  the  country,  either  in  the  performance 
of  his  work  or,  when  that  was  slack,  taking  a;hand  at  the  harvest,  form  an  interest- 
ing chapter  of  social  history.  The  completeness  of  the  work  is  considerably 
enhanced  by  detailed  descriptions  of  the  district  he  lived  in,  and  of  his  numerous 
friends  and  acquaintance." — Athenceum. 

Scots  (Ancient)— An  Examination  of  the  An- 
cient History  of  Ireland  and  Iceland,  in  so  far  as  it  concerns 
the  Origin  of  the  Scots ;  Ireland  not  the  Hibernia  of  the 
Ancients  ;  Interpolations  in  Bede's  Ecclesiastical  History  and 
other  Ancient  Annals  affecting  the  Early  History  of  Scotland 
and  Ireland — the  three  Essays  in  one  volume,  crown  8vo,  cloth 
(pub  45)  Edinburgh,  1883  o  I  o 

The  first  of  the  above  treatises  is  mainly  taken  up  with  an  investigation  of  the 
early  History  of  Ireland  and  Iceland,  in  order  to  ascertain  which  has  the  better 
claim  to  be  considered  the  original  country  of  the  Scots.  In  the  second  and 
third  an  attempt  is  made  to  show  that  Iceland  was  the  ancient  Hibernia,  and 
the  country  from  which  the  Scots  came  to  Scotland  ;  and  further,  contain  a 
review  of  the  evidence  furnished  by  the  more  genuine  of  the  early  British  Annals 
against  the  idea  that  Ireland  was  the  ancient  Scotia. 

Magic    and    Astro  logy— Grant    (James)— The 

Mysteries  of  all  Nations  :  Rise  and  Progress  of  Superstition, 
Laws  against  and  Trials  of  Witches,  Ancient  and  Modern 
Delusions,  together  with  Strange  Customs,  Fables,  and  Tales 
relating  to  Mythology,  Miracles,  Poets,  and  Superstition, 
Demonology,  Magic  and  Astrology,  Trials  by  Ordeal,  Super- 
stition in  the  Nineteenth  Century,  &c.,  I  thick  vol,  8vo,  cloth 
(pub  I2s  6d)  1880  026 

An  interesting  work  on  the  subject  of  Superstition,  valuable  alike  to  archaeo- 
logists and  general  readers.  It  is  chiefly  the  result  of  antiquarian  research  and 
actual  observation  during  a  period  of  nearly  forty  years. 

Sent  Carriage  Free  to  any  part  of  the  United  Kingdom  on 
receipt  of  Postal  Order  for  the  amount. 

JOHN  GRANT,  25  &  34  George  IT,  Bridge,  Edinburgh, 

1 6  John  Grant,  Bookseller. 

A  Story  of  the  Shetland  Isles. 

Saxby  (Jessie  M.,  author  of  "  Daala-Mist,"  &c.} — Rock- 
Bound,  a  Story  of  the  Shetland  Isles,   second  edition,  revised, 
crown  8vo,  cloth  (pub  2s),  6d.     Edinburgh,  1877. 
"The   life  I  have  tried   to  depict  is  the  life  I  remember  twenty  years  ago, 

when  the  islands  were  far  behind  the  rest  of  Britain  in  all  that  goes  to  make  up 

modern  civilisation." — Extract  from  Preface. 

Burn  (R.  Scott} — The  Practical  Directory  for  the  Im- 
provement of  Landed  Property,  Rural  and  Suburban,  and  the 
Economic  Cultivation  of  its  Farms  (the  most  valuable  work  on 
the  subject),  plates  and  woodcuts,  2  vols,  4to,  cloth  (pub  £3  35), 
155,  Paterson. 

Burnefs  Treatise  on  Painting,  illustrated  by  zjo  Etchings 
from  celebrated  pictures  of  the  Italian,  Venetian,  Flemish,  Dutch, 
and  English  Schools,  also  woodcuts,  thick  4to,  half  morocco,  gilt 
top  (pub  £4  los),  £2  2s. 

The  Costumes  of  all  Nations,  Ancient  and  Modern, 
exhibiting  the  Dresses  and  Habits  of  all  Classes,  Male  and  Female, 
from  the  Earliest  Historical  Records  to  the  Nineteenth  Century, 
by  Albert  Kretschmer  and  Dr  Rohrbach,  104  coloured  plates 
displaying  nearly  2000  full-length  figures,  complete  in  one  hand- 
some volume,  4to,  half  morocco  (pub  £4  45),  455,  Sotheran. 

Dryderis  Dramatic  Works,  Library  Edition,  with  Notes 
and  Life  by  Sir  Walter  Scott,  Bart.,  edited  by  George  Saints- 
bury,  portrait  and  plates,  8  vols,  8vo,  cloth  (pub  £4  45),  £i  los, 

Lessing's  (DrjT.)  Ancient  Oriental  Carpet  Patterns,  after 
Pictures  and  Originals  of  the  i5th  and  i6th  Centuries,  35  plates 
(size  20  x  14  in.),  beautifully  coloured  after  the  originals,  I  vol, 
royal  folio,  in  portfolio  (pub  £3  33),  2is,  Sotheran. 

The  most  beautiful  Work  on  the  "  Stately  Homes  of  England." 
Nashs  Mansions  of  England  in  the  Olden  Time,  104 
Lithographic  Views  faithfully  reproduced  from  the  originals,  with 
new  and  complete  history  of  each  Mansion,  by  Anderson,  4  vols 
in  2,  imperial  410,  cloth  extra,  gilt  edges  (pub  £6  6s),  £2  los, 

Richardson's  (Samuel)  Works,  Library  Edition,  with 
Biographical  Criticism  by  Leslie  Stephen,  portrait,  12  vols,  8vo, 
cloth  extra,  impression  strictly  limited  to  750  copies  (pub  £6  6s), 
£2  55,  London. 

Sent  Carriage  Free  to  any  part  of  the  United  Kingdom  on 
receipt  of  Postal  Order  for  the  amount. 

JOHN  GRANT,  25  &  34  George  IT.  Bridge,  Edinburgh. 

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